Wastewater from northern Chile will be reused to irrigate crops

This initiative seeks to reduce the scarcity of water that affects the country by reusing wastewater safely and innocuously, which could be implemented to irrigate fruit plantations.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant (ART) is located in the Cerro de Tamaya area, in the Ovalle district of northern Chile, and is part of the regional water development strategy, while the execution of the project is the responsibility of the Chile Foundation.

Portal Fruticola talked about the potential of this initiative with Ulrike Broschek, assistant manager of sustainability of Fundación Chile, who argued that this type of systems can be used in productive processes such as mining and for the irrigation of plantations of species such as fruit trees.

Broschek explained that the project emerged after conducting an analysis to seek solutions to the drought in the Valparaíso region, after which it was concluded that reusing wastewater in the Coquimbo area offered interesting results and with a lower cost than alternatives such as desalination. of sea water.

"For Coquimbo we wanted to replicate the analysis because there was also a significant volume of wastewater. The regional government asked us to replicate this focused on those generated at the rural level ", commented Broschek.

Also, the representative of Fundación Chile indicated that "they are wastewater that comes from treatment plants, but smaller than those from urban areas and from those used in submarine outfalls."

"In Coquimbo are plants with treatment systems and that generally use activated sludge technology. This produces waters of very good quality and that can be used for different uses but that are not used today and are generally discharged "added Broschek.

On the other hand, the deputy manager of sustainability of Fundación Chile indicated that this type of plants can be used in aerial crops such as fruit trees, as well as for the production of grapes, olives, avocados, among others.

Broschek said the plant is being used to irrigate 6 hectares of alfalfa crops, while other studies are being developed to replicate the initiative in the production of other species.

In addition, he explained that the plant will make annual profits of 24 million pesos (USD 40.000) and that they estimate that the investment will be recovered within two to two and a half years.

"This makes it interesting to be replicated in other types of crops, especially since alfalfa has a low commercial price, so this is the most conservative scenario, since any other crop could generate greater profitability."

Finally, the sustainability manager of Fundación Chile stressed that all international standards are being applied for safe and innocuous water use and that the initiative will also promote more sustainable production solutions.

Source: portalfruticola.com

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