Chile, the Biobío, and the Future of the Columbia River Basin
48 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 24, 2017
This article uses the Chilean water resources experience — with a particular focus on dams and water infrastructure development in the Biobío River Basin — as a context for considering how climate change might affect water resources and water resource management in the Columbia River Basin. The Chilean experience suggests that the legal regimes and water resource policies that have worked in the American West might not work in a different context. The article uses both the American and Chilean experiences to argue that climate change will ultimately render a new Columbia River Basin that is different ecologically, hydrologically, culturally, and perhaps legally from what we know today, and that water basins in the American West might transition to different contexts in which our current institutions might not work.
Keywords: water resources, climate change, Chile
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