WATER PROJECT: DamAge - chile
Liquine Dam Project
For thousands of years the indigenous people in the Chilean Patagonia, have been living in perfect harmony with nature. Water and soil have a strong cultural, religious and practical meaning for the Mapuche indians and the balance between man and nature is fundamental for their existence. A drastic intervention in the nature like blocking the natural flow of the rivers will ruin the whole equilibrium in Region de los Rios, the River Region.
Historically the Mapuche indians have always got into conflict with foreigners and invaders from near and far, something that has made them become very sceptical and doubtful by nature. When they heard about the Norwegian stateowned company SN Powers construction plans (through the subsidary company Trayenko) in their territory it was obvious that the opposition from the locals would be strong.
The project is supposed to collect water from four different rivers and lead through underground tunnels to a powerstation that will create energy for the mining industry in northern Chile. The company claims that the project would create jobs in the area, which suffers a high level of disoccupation, aswell as a positive effect for the tourism industry. The locals on the other hand don't belive in the possibility to get jobs through the project having no relevant education, and they are not interested in increasing tourism, fearing it will have a negative effect on the territory. Today many locals run small tourism activities in perfect harmony with nature based on the many hot-springs in the area, and they are now worried that the dams and tunnels will destroy the natural underground hot-springs. They are also worried that their proper lives will be put on risk constructing in a seismic area.
The tence situation between the Mapuche and SN Power has delayed the project and the lack of information from the company has made it unclear what the situation is at the moment.