Debut of the New Reservoir at Chilefarms
Sunday, January 11, 2015
By noon on Sunday, water released from Los Andes reservoirs has reached the section of the Aconcaqua River running through Nogales and La Peña. The valley farmers heave a collective sigh of relief.
A complex system of canals that wind through the valley fill with water. There are three major portals from which water from this canal can enter Chilefarms.
The first is through a portal on the southern side of the farm that is opened for approximately 36 hours, Sunday to midday Monday, each week. Water from this portal fills the small reservoir behind the tractor barn and horse barn. Water from this reservoir is used to irrigate the orange and walnut trees on this side of the property.
This portal is padlocked for the rest of the week. An official rides his motorbike onto the farm, unlocks this portal and returns in about 36 hours to chain and lock the gate closed. Chllefarms pays a local agency for this service. The service also includes an annual maintenance in which weeds are cleared from the canal bank.
The second portal admits water into the larger reservoir on the north section of the property. This reservoir (tranque) was enlarged this past week and a new cement entry point with an adjustable gate was installed; workers will close it when the reservoir is filled. Water from this reservoir is used to irrigate the orange trees on this side of the property and to supply the smaller reservoir with water as needed.
Farm workers and their familes gather to see the grand opening of the new entryway into the enlarged reservoir (tranque).
The third portal is at the far north side of the farm next to the neighbor’s property line. Don Pedro opens this gate later on Sunday.
Figuring out the complexities of water management - how water arrives, how it it distributed during each week, and the impact of increased usage - is worthy of a Sherlock Holmes novella. pt at large is spending the week unraveling the story.
Photos by Paul A. Tamburello, Jr.