Water Day: In the Antofagasta desert, Chileans drink seawater

In northern Chile, many residents of the region of Antofagasta don’t have access to running water or suffer from cuts, depending on tankers to distribute the vital liquid to particular houses and farming plots. The water was formerly supplied from rivers that turned out to have very high levels of arsenic, so the city is now desalinizing seawater for 80 percent of its consumption, which some say could be unsafe.

Water Day: In the Antofagasta desert, Chileans drink seawater

In northern Chile, many residents of the region of Antofagasta don’t have access to running water or suffer from cuts, depending on tankers to distribute the vital liquid to particular houses and farming plots. The water was formerly supplied from rivers that turned out to have very high levels of arsenic, so the city is now desalinizing seawater for 80 percent of its consumption, which some say could be unsafe.

Chile: two icebergs break off from a glacier in Patagonia

Two icebergs break off from the Grey Glacier, in the Chilean Patagonia.

Chile builds Latin America’s first thermosolar plant in Atacama

In northern Chile, the first thermosolar plant in Latin America is springing up in the middle of the Atacama Desert. The plant, with technology which allows it to produce electricity all day long unlike other forms of renewable energy, consists of a 250-meter tower surrounded by thousands of giant mirrors.

Chile seeks UNESCO listing for southern islands

While Chile has many world heritage sites, the country is preparing to submit an application to UNESCO for what could be its first natural heritage site: the Madre de Dios archipelago. Its strong winds and almost constant rain have created unique scenery on the uninhabited archipelago, which is made up of 54 islands.

Scientists find new type of killer whale off Chile

Scientists have found a new type of killer whale in the waters off South America. The type D or subantarctic killer whale has a more rounded head, a narrow dorsal fin and a small white eye patch. (March 6)

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US, Brazil and Chile send aid to Venezuela

US Special Representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, says medical supplies and “enough food to feed 2,000 people for a month” are being sent on cargo planes to Cucuta, Colombia to be pre-positioned for entry into Venezuela. The US is calling on the Venezuelan military to allow the entry of this “desperately needed aid” as opposition leader Juan Guaido and his allies travel to Colombia to collect it, in defiance of President Maduro.

Ahoy! Reed raft to set sail across the Pacific

A raft entirely made of reeds, inspired by ancient Andean indigenous techniques, is set afloat in the Pacific in northern Chile after more than three years of construction. The “Viracocha III” will attempt to sail 10,000 nautical miles to Sydney.