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Effect of climate change on drinking water supplyin Santiago de Chile
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Citation of this paper:Gerardo Ahumada,David Bustos,María González,2013.Effect of climate change on drinking water supplyin Santiago de Chile.Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions,5(1):0027~0034.
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Author NameAffiliationE-mail
Gerardo Ahumada Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile ga-humada@ifarle.cl 
David Bustos Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile  
María González Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile  
 
Abstract:Climate change is likely to increase the occurrence of floods and flashfloods that affect Santiago de Chile’s drinking water supply system throughout the 21st century. A relationship between flashfloods in the Maipo River—Santiago’s main raw water source, drainage area in the Maipo Alto Sub Basin and precipitation 48 hours previous to the event was found. Despite having legal guidelines to guarantee continuity and stability in water supply, Chilean law does not specify the maximum admissible magnitude of an event. A 12% drop of average monthly flow at Maipo en El Manzano Station was estimated for the 2035–2065 period due to climate change, meaning water suppliers would not be able to meet 90% monthly water supply security, required by Chilean law. Water suppliers would need to increase their current allotted quota of the Maipo River, from 24.5% to a percentage between 26% and 30% to comply. If the 0 °C isotherm keeps increasing its elevation through the 21st century, more intense floods could occur because of additional drainage area granted by the elevation of the snow line, even if precipitation does not suffer a significant change. In order to withstand a five day turbidity event, 2 m3/s of groundwater, or any non river source, should be temporarily incorporated to the emergency drinking water production.
keywords:climate change  drinking water  water availability  floods  water supply security
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