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January 19, 2015


Katherine Burton Jones

Another interesting and timely post. Perhaps we will all lobby on behalf of Chilean farmers now (seriously). I will treat my avocados with much more respect too and be thankful for them while the water lasts (hope change happens politically and in water conservation to make that be forever).


Paul with regard to California, the Endangered Species Act accounts for a large part of California's water problem. May want to investigate if Chile has a similar law.

Paul A. Tamburello, Jr. aka pt at large

Water rights, access, and usage have become contentious issues in America, South America and Africa. The avocado story seems like part of a global story unfolding as we speak.

Paul A. Tamburello, Jr. aka pt at large

Best overview I found is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife_of_Chile

Not clear how much this affects water access, use, rights.

One quote:
In terms of world statistics of area covered under protection, Chile has the second place in Latin America and seventh place in the world. However, the distribution of the protected area in the country is highly uneven with two of the 15 administrative regions garnering 84% of the protected area with the southern regions XI and XII having the major share of about 50% of the total area which adjoins the forest and protected areas of the Argentinean Andes of Patagonia. In the remaining regions, the protected area covered is only 4.4% of total area which is less than the accepted international norm of 5%. The protected areas are also governed by the "ice and rock" criterion adopted in the United States Wilderness System. Under this criteria, about 23% of the total area of SNASPE is covered by ice fields and other land types which have no vegetation and least habitation.[3] Apart from the 100 terrestrial protected areas which also partly include some marine areas, now 75 new critical bird areas of marine birdlife have been identified by BirdLife International. The Important Bird Areas (IBA) cover the "cliffs of Africa, the bays of Coquimbo, Mejillones, the mouths of Biobío and Maipu rivers, the Alejandro Selkirk islands, Choros, Damas, Punta de Choros, and Parque Nacional Cabo de Hornos."[6]

Mishy Lesser

Excellent Dispatch, dear Paul. Spot on, based on other things I've read and heard over the years. Very disturbing. I'd be surprised if Bachelet fails to act on this one but Ricardo probably knows better


Great articles, Paul. Thanks!

Here is more from Slate's website: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/05/_10_percent_of_california_s_water_goes_to_almond_farming.html

"...viral infographic from Mother Jones shows, it takes more than a gallon of water to grow a single almond, and it may take 220 gallons of water to produce a large avocado. But pound-for-pound, there’s an order of magnitude more water needed to get meat and dairy to your plate. A stick of butter requires more than 500 gallons of water to make. A pound of beef takes up to 5,000 gallons."

Paul A. Tamburello, Jr. aka pt at large

A disturbing story about the effect of the drought in Chile from 2007 and into the future. The effects on agriculture, let alone human quality of life, will be unprecedented.

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