Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change in the Maipo Basin, Central Chile

The Maipo River Basin in central Chile is home to six million people, most residing in the city of Santiago. The city's rapid urbanization is increasing stress on the water supply and affecting the availability of land for agriculture in peri-urban areas. A changing climate predicting hotter, dryer weather is likely to further affect urban and rural populations, including farmers and wine producers, which provide a major source of employment. A climate change adaptation strategy for the Basin is a priority for the Chilean Ministry of Environment. To support the development of such a strategy, this project will conduct comprehensive research led by the Centre for Global Change at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in collaboration with local and international researchers. The team will use simulation tools to estimate future water availability and quality to see who is most vulnerable and which sectors are most exposed. Based on this analysis, the team will propose adaptation options under different water supply and demand scenarios. The project will also address the recurrent problem of land competition, as urban sectors encroach on rural territories, challenging institutional capacities and plans for managing Latin American metropolitan regions. The team will conduct training courses for policymakers and technicians in other Latin American countries and disseminate results widely, including in international peer-reviewed journals. This project is expected to position Chile's Centre for Global Change as a regional centre of excellence able to aid adaptation planning in similar river basins. This project is funded through IDRC's Adaptation Research Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARI-Americas) with funds from the Government of Canada's fast-start financing.

Project ID


Project status


End Date

Thursday, August 3, 2017


36 months

IDRC Officer

Walter Ubal

Total funding

CA$ 1,298,000


Chile, South America


Adaptation Measures to Climate Change

Project Leader

Sebastián Vicuña


Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Institution Country


Institution Website