Cochamó to host workshops on the benefits of a water reserve

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Puelo and Llanada Grande will hold two informative workshops for the public today and Saturday. Experts and lawyers will present why the waters of the Puelo River should be declared a protected “water reserve,” and why a formal proposal for such a protection status should be presented to the Chilean goverment.

The Puelo River and its valleys are considered globally important for their conservation value and are essential for the harmonious development of the communities living in their vicinity. Its forests were declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. As well, WWF has declared the Puelo River should be classified and permanently protected as one of the world’s free flowing rivers. The beauty of the landscapes has prompted Chile’s national tourism service (SERNATUR) to declare the area a “national touristic interest zone” that contributes to the development of local communities.

For its importance at the international, national and local levels, citizens have expressed their interest in definitively protecting the waters of the Puelo River, a possibility that could become reality if a water reserve is decreed under Article 147 bis of the Codigo de Aguas, Chile’s national water laws, in certain stretches of the Puelo River, just as it was done in 2009 with the Cochamó and Petrohué rivers.

This weekend’s free workshops, held by the Geute Conservación Sur Foundation and Puelo Patagonia, will seek to publicize how creating a water reserve could be used as a tool to ensure the future water supply for the local population and boost sustainable development. The first workshop will be held at the municipal library of Río Puelo, on Friday, Oct. 5, at 11:00 hrs., and the second will be on Saturday, Oct. 6,  at the same time at the social center of Llanada Grande.