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Atuel water´s memory

Valeria Tochi Director

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    For more than sixty years, the residents of the west of La Pampa have been suffering a process of desertification of their region.

    After the construction of the dam “El Nihuil” in San Rafael, Mendoza, in 1947, the Atuel river´s flow was interrupted before entering the province of La Pampa.

    While the South of Mendoza obtained access to water irrigation, the West of La Pampa began a process of impoverishment, which was reflected on its residents´ life.

    The interviewees express how is like to live with the idea of a river that belong to them but that haven´t ever seen flowing uninterruptedly, and explain the problems they had to deal with during those years and the consequences of the lost memory of water of new generations.

    Despite water was declared a Human Right by the United Nations, there is still a great controversy between those who consider water as a commodity and those who consider that the principal use of water should be to sustain life.

    As a consequence, sixty years from its beginning, the Atuel river´s case is a conflict that continues without resolution.