Water Resources Equipment
The depletion of the underground water reserves that have supplied the cities and mining operations in northern Chile will continue over the next few years, forcing consumers to look elsewhere for their water supply. While still expensive, the cost of desalinizing sea water has decreased to a fifth of what it was 30 years ago and requires six times less energy. Desalinization is a viable option despite the distances that water must be pumped to reach the mining operations located 300+ kilometers inland.
The threat of less rainfall and the deterioration of glaciers clearly indicate that one of the main challenges is and will continue to be lack of water. Chile already has plants in operation and Arica-Parinacota, Chile’s northernmost city, expects to meet 100% of the demand by 2014.
According to the “Dirección General de Aguas”, or DGA (www.dga.cl), the private sector has plans to invest between USD 4 and 5 billion in northern Chile’s desalination business through 2014. It is expected that this figure will be complemented by additional investment as a result of government incentives. Between 2012 and 2014, there have been investments announced that will exceed $20 billion.
The strongest growth in demand for water is expected in mining and industrial operations as these industries expand. More moderate growth in demand will be seen in agricultural and potable water as the infrastructure is largely in place in these areas.
According to industry experts, the greater potential in environmental technologies will be oriented to the water sector during the next years. Below is a list of best prospects:
Participating in trade shows offers a unique opportunity for U. S. suppliers to introduce their products and services in the Chilean market: