Utility to join Chile water control groups, drops lawsuit

Endesa Chile has reached agreement with irrigation organizations to participate in water control committees for the basins in which the utility operates hydropower projects.

As a result, Endesa terminated on January 20 a lawsuit seeking access to the committees, which govern water usage within the basins. The giant hydropower operator had asked the 3rd Civil Court of Santiago to declare it could participate in the committees.

Endesa said the lawsuit was filed in 2007, seeking to resolve a �legal vacuum� that failed to regulate the coexistence of consumptive users of water, such as irrigators, with entities such as hydropower generators, who have rights to non-consumptive use of water.

The utility said it terminated the lawsuit based on progress achieved in 2008 in conversations and negotiations with the irrigation groups in some basins in Chile, which led to agreements for Endesa’s future entry into some control committees.

�Endesa Chile’s intentions of joining the control committees in a spirit of collaboration and respect, seeking a rational and advantageous use of the water together with all the users of the basins, have been accepted by the different irrigation organizations,� Endesa said.

The company said it also received cooperation from sector organizations such as the water authority, General de Aguas, and the hydraulic works authority, Direccion de Obras Hidraulicas. As a result, Endesa and the defendant, the Chilean Treasury, submitted documents to the court agreeing to terminate the lawsuit.

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