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The challenge

Working with drought and climate variability

The Caplina-Locumba Basin is located in the southernmost region of Peru, a particularly arid region of the northern Atacama Desert. Tacna, the capital city, continues to establish itself and manage population growth, which has been fuelled through regional migration.

An irrigation channel in the Tacna region of Peru

The impacts from drought across the region have significant impacts across all sectors, but most notably agriculture. In Tacna, many households do not have 24/7 access to water under ‘normal’ conditions.

Without the capacity to adequately prepare for fluctuating climate conditions, those who rely on the basin for water are more susceptible to the socioeconomic impacts that arise in drought.

Our response

A system for managing drought

We have been engaged by Southern Peru Copper Company and are working with the Regional Government and National Water Authority (ANA) to develop a drought management plan for the region.

This involves developing a Water Resources Management Model to assess the availability of water resources for the major sectors and also by catchment and region within the basin. The model will identify key indicators and thresholds of drought by surveying baseline conditions such as current climate, usage and management practices.

Using this evidence base, we will work with key stakeholders to develop a plan that allows the region to prepare, manage and respond to the risks and impacts from droughts. The Drought Management Plan will also consider risk reduction strategies and equity measures to support more sustainable water sharing practices in the Tacna region, including reviewing current and future supply and demand, structural and non-structural investment options, and capacity-building measures.

The results

Managing risk

The Drought Management Plan will provide decision-makers with the tools they need to more efficiently manage their water resources, whilst also considering possible future changes to supply and demand. This is vital to sustain regional developments/communities.

The project has two-way benefits: it will improve outcomes for business, communities and the natural systems in the Tacna region; and also provide key insights to improve practices in Australia.

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