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“No Dams in Patagonia”, Citizen protest in Futaleufú.

Futaleufú Libre

Since the year 1990, Endesa has owned the rights to the waters of the Futaleufú, and is planning three large dams on the river for purposes of electricity production.

On August 1st, 2015, Endesa asked the General Directorate of Water (DGA) for permission to change its intake points for the hydroelectric projects they intend to develop on the Futaleufu River, showing signs of wanting to activate this long dormant investment project.

Faced with this threat, and together with the community of Futaleufú, Geute Conservación Sur prepared and coordinated the presentation of 35 opposition points to this request, giving a clear signal to Endesa that the opposition to their hydroelectric projects on the Futaleufú River will manifest itself from day one.

A year later, on August 1, 2016,  due to community and NGO opposition, as well as external financial factors, Endesa announced the renunciation of its water rights to the Futaleufú River, among others in Chile.

http://www.endesa.cl/ES/PRENSA/COMUNICADOS/Paginas/EndesaChileRenunciaAderechosDeAguaAsociadosAccoProyectos.aspx

This new renunciation scenario opens new conservation opportunities and also new threats, should another more aggressive hydroelectric producer acquire the water rights. It is our hope that the DGA will set aside the waters of the Futaleufú for hydroelectric exploitation and declare them part of a national water reserve. As this is not guaranteed, a constant watch must be maintained for future applications that request the water rights to the Futaleufú that are not in the best interests of conservation or the community.