Chilean Government: Put your citizens first when it comes to the distribution of water

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Chilean Government: Put your citizens first when it comes to the distribution of water

This petition made change with 68 supporters!
Martha Capener started this petition to Sebastián Piñera (President of Chile) and

81% of the country’s water is used for agriculture, 9% goes to the mining sector, and the citizens are left fighting over the remaining 10%. This is largely due to the production of avocados which is one of the main contributors to their economy.

Hass avocados are grown in the region of Petorca, a naturally dry region that receives little rainfall and therefore depends on groundwater to supply its dense network of avocado plantations. Avocados are an extremely thirsty fruit. According to the Water Footprint Network just one kilogram (4 avocados) of this fruit demand 2,000 litres of water - four times the amount needed to produce one kilo of oranges, and ten times what is needed to produce a kilo of tomatoes.

In order to keep up with the fruits intensive water needs, villagers say that the region’s growers are installing illegal pipes and wells, diverting water from rivers and causing them to dry up. The growers are incurring minimal fines and are continuing with the illegal practices.

As a result of the drought, villagers in Petorca are allotted 50 litres of water a day per household. In Canadian terms, 50 litres of water equates to a 5 minute shower and one flush of the toilet. The water is delivered by cistern trucks but they say the water is dirty and loaded with contaminants. The water is often yellow or has dirt in it, other times it smells strongly of chlorine. The government says it is drinkable however people are getting sick when they drink it, so they are forced to boil it or buy bottled water. They say they find themselves having to choose between cooking and washing. They described going to the bathroom in holes in the ground or in plastic bags. The Chilean Government tested the water quality in 2014 and was found to have high levels of coliform, a bacteria found in feces.

The Government of Chile, Alfredo Moreno, Oscar Cristi Ivory, Antonio Walker and Emilio Santelices Cuevas, please put your people first and stop this injustice of a human right.

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This petition made change with 68 supporters!

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