Reservoirs will leave the “pessimistic” scenario after the last frontal system

Since last Wednesday, the announced frontal system was felt in the Coquimbo Region with precipitation and snowfall that extended until yesterday afternoon, providing a large amount of water, this in the midst of the drought that extends for more than one of each.

According to Meteo La Serena, in Paihuano 37 mm were recorded, in Vicuña it was 84.8 mm, La Serena received 71.6 mm and in Coquimbo it was 80.9 mm. Meanwhile, in Andacollo there were 84.3 mm.
In the case of Fray Jorge it was 72.8 mm, while in Quebrada Seca 111.8 mm was reported, being one of the places that received the most rain, along with El Palqui where 142.5 mm fell.

In the southern part of the region, specifically in Huentelauquen there was 47.8 mm of rain, in Canela 53.3 mm, in Salamanca it rained more than 125 mm, while in Caimanes it was 130 mm.


Pablo Álvarez, director of the Quitai Anko Water Technology Center Consortium and PROMMRA of the ULS, regarding how much the levels of the reservoirs could increase after the recent rains, explained to Diario El Día that “in our opinion, the water levels are going to be above what we called pessimistic.”

“So, that makes us think that in the case of Limarí, the condition will be better than the previous season. In Choapa, it will probably also be better than last year and in the province of Elqui, it is very likely that it will exceed last season’s levels,” he explained.

In this sense, he pointed out that the months of June and July statistically concentrate the majority of rainfall, so there is still time for possible new rains.

“Ultimately, if one or two more events occur, the entire system is going to be quite wet and saturated and, therefore, it is highly likely that this will generate a little more runoff, depending on the external temperature. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two more events occurred, therefore, the situation can improve a little more,” he added.

As an example, he maintained that the La Paloma reservoir, before this frontal system, had around 8 million cubic meters, and after the rains it has more than 14 million stored. “In other words, in this event alone the contribution was 6 million cubic meters and could rise to 7 million in total.”

“This increase occurred only thanks to the event, but subsequently the river has a much higher level of runoff than what it had and that will cause there to be a gain in volume from here until it begins to melt the snow in the month of October or November, depending on the temperature,” he added.

Along these lines, he recalled that “our previous forecast was that the La Paloma reservoir could reach around 40 million without this event, but with this, without a doubt, the number will increase and will probably reach a little more than double ”.

For her part, Denisse Duhalde, environmental civil engineer and academic in the environmental area of ​​the ULS Mining Engineering department, explained that “after a prolonged period of lower rainfall, associated with the mega-drought phenomenon, these rains represent an opportunity to storage in the basins of the regions, especially at the level in the headwater basins (high mountain range).”

“Now, the recharge of aquifers is a slow process, especially in this region given the geological and geomorphological conditions where there are lands with steep slopes and low permeability. It must be taken into account that just one precipitation event does not represent a long-term solution and, given the snow-rain regime of the region, the snow storage and aquifer recharge processes are favored by the accumulation of snow in the mountain range. “, hill.

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