Chile: Disastrous Drought

"Operation Drought," reads the sign on the Pan American Highway 55 miles northeast of Santiago, the capital of Chile. Soldiers have built a tent city there, and government technicians are drilling deep wells in search of water. A few miles up the road, schoolboys play soccer in the dried-out bed of the Aconcagua, normally a mighty river. Even farther to the north, water from the near-dry Recoleta Dam is rationed—four days running, ten days shut off.

Chile is gripped by the worst, longest drought in its history, a crisis so serious that President Eduardo Frei has declared it a...

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