“Water wars” don’t just occur between communities, governments and companies. The Bolivian and Chile administrations – hardly friends at the best of times – are now embroiled in arguments over which country has “rights” to the Silala, a relatively modest water source that crosses their borders. Much of the water goes towards copper mining of Chile’s Atacama desert, historically the driest place on earth. UK-listed Antofagasta, based in Chile, not only uses the water for its own mining. It also sells water at considerable profit (almost US$85 million last year). But Bolivia’s president, backed by local people, claims that Chile must pay the price – both for continuing to tap the vital springs and in compensation for doing so since the 19th century.
See http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=9525.