Water: The Root of Life

In 2019 Ciencia Al Tiro was part of the project Ruta de Ciencia,  a traveling science fair visiting towns in the Region of Valparaiso, (Quilpué, La Ligua, Petorca, San Felipe). Shocked by the sight of dead trees and animals as a result of the drought, and visiting towns without water or with contaminated water we decided to investigate water. We started by testing our own water and were truly surprised at the results.

With the eruption of the Pandemic Ciencia Al Tiro rose to the challenge generating two education videos on the Pandemic; En época de Pandemia y Pandemia 2020

As 2020 ended we felt an urgent need to return to our water project (Water: The Root of Life) and were joined (via ZOOM) by the Brigada de Medioambiente from Escuela Básica Pacífico of Playa Ancha with Professor Nuvia Carrasco. With these students we completed activities on the water cycle and even did water testing together on-line.

Through these workshops we were confronted with simple questions of Where does our water come from? Why does my water come in a truck? Why do I have to boil my water? Spurred on by these questions the summer has been dedicated to filming:  interviewing professionals, visiting Los Aromos to see and test the water we drink, recording plants killed by tap water in Quintay, and visiting the last uncontaminated river basin of the once mighty Aconcagua River (Parque Andino Juncal).

The video has turned into a fascinating project. We will be joined once again by the students in April to analyze the information.

Water: The Root of Life

General Director: KE Whitlock

Technical Director: Amador Providell

Production Assistant: Priscilla Berrios

Science and Language Assessment: John Ewer

Financed by the Faculty of Science, Universidad de Valparaiso and private donations. The video will be released in 2021 and will be in Spanish with English subtitles.


Paola Bolados

(University of Playa Ancha, Center for Advanced Studies, Valparaiso Chile).

Dr. Paola Bolados, has analyzed water scarcity examining the societal assumptions that these processes are dissociated from the interdependence between culture, nature, and worldviews of native peoples.

Lucrecia Brito

(Salvemos las Torpederas).

Lucrecia has worked with the community group “Save Las Torpederas” to pressure ESVAL not to dump sewage into the ocean on the public beach “Las Torpederas” in Valparaiso.

Nuvia Carrasco

(Pacific Basic School, Cerro Playa Ancha Valparaiso).

Nuvia is a teacher at the Pacifico School in Cerro Playa Ancha. She is director of the Brigada de Medioambiente students.

David Poblete

(School of Civil Engineering, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaiso Chile).

David is a Civil Industrial Engineer with a mention in Hydraulic Engineering and a master in Water Management and Hydroinformatics.

Alejandra Porras

(Neighborhood Board, Quintay).

Alejandra is working to communicate with all of us in Chile about the profound inequalities in water distribution that have left their town without potable water.

Cecilia Rivera

(University of Playa Ancha, Center for Advanced Studies, Valparaiso Chile).

Dr. Rivera an expert in water column analysis and environmental monitoring, performs characterization and evaluation of the quality of water resources.

Fernando Soto

(Park Ranger, Andino Juncal Park, Region of Valparaiso).

Fernando told us about the history of this unique park, the work of a private conservation project, which is the last uncontaminated source of the Aconcagua River. In 2010 the park was recognized as an important site by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands an intergovernmental treaty providing the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Tania Tamayo Grez

(Director of the School of Journalism, University of Chile) and

Alejandra Carmona López

(Institute of Communication and Images, University of Chile).

Authors of the book “The Business of Water” (El Negocio del Agua) published in 2019. Tania and Alejandra provide and exhaustive and alarming analysis of privatization of water rights in Chile over the last 50 years.

Juan Kuznar

(Faculty of Science, University of Valparaiso).

Dr. Kuznar is the Dean of the Faculty of Science and an avid mountaineer. He has unique and personal insights on the state of the glaciers, including the Juncal Glacier that feed an essential tributary of the Aconcagua River.

Cesar Astudillo

(Pescador Deportivo, Quillota)

Sergio Quiroz

(Director Museo de Historia Natural de Valparaíso).

Manuel Ballesteros

(Colegio Luis Cruz Martínez, La Ligua)

Representative ESVAL

(To date they have not responded to our request for an interview)

**ESVAL: Chilean water utility, serving the country’s central region of Valparaiso, responsible for drinking water production and distribution as well as wastewater treatment and disposal.