Chile/WB: Support for Water Management, a Resource Essential to Achieving National Development Goals

November 4, 2015

SANTIAGO, November 4th, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today close to US$41 million in financing to strengthen the Ministry of Public Works’ capacity for managing water resources, public infrastructure and concessions.

The loan will contribute to reach the “Agenda 30/30”, which establishes the nation’s development goals. Moreover, it will help improve the efficient use of water resources throughout Chile, a particularly important task in a country where up to 70 percent of exports come from water-intensive sectors, such as agriculture and mining. In order to fulfill the national goal of a US$30,000 per capita income by 2030, and social inclusion and territorial equity levels similar to other OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, Chile needs to adapt to cope with the growing pressure on its water resources.

Some of the objectives of this project include greater involvement of the main players at water basins in terms of water management and planning, especially the most vulnerable groups; strengthening of the water control program, in order to protect small-scale users; and a reduction in vulnerability among those populations located in areas at risk of dam breaks. It also seeks to reduce inequality in access to public services and water infrastructure between different regions of the country, via the design of territorial inequality indices for infrastructure, and improvements in the Ministry of Public Works’ capacity to plan and manage infrastructure and concession programs.

“The development and implementation of innovative territorial inequality indices will help target investments into those areas of the country that had not been included in the past, contributing to a more balanced growth and increased shared prosperity,” said Alberto Rodriguez, World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. 

The project has a nationwide reach and will establish pilot initiatives in the Choapa and Maule basins, areas that are currently enduring a prolonged drought and growing water scarcity. 

The US$40.89 million loan has a five-year implementation period and includes a 16-year maturity period, with a 15.5-year grace period.


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