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Quick Scan Salinity in the Metropolitan and Valparaíso Regions, Chile; challenges and opportunities


Desk study and field visits by Arcadis Chile


The Salt Doctors (lead), Delphy, Arcadis Chili, Arcadis Netherlands


August 2021 - November 2021

Project description:

This report, financed by the Government of the Netherlands through the 'Partners for Water' programme, provides the results of a quick scan on the salinity and water situation in agriculture in Chile. 

Mainly focusing on two regions: Valparaiso and Metropolitan Regions.

The project was performed by The Salt Doctors (lead), Arcadis and Delphy (all based in The Netherlands) and the local office of Arcadis in Chile.


The overall objective of the study is to enhance the climate resilience of agriculture in water scarce and saline areas in Chile, by providing insight in salinity issues and by exploring the possibilities for improving agricultural practices in a saline environment.


For this, a salinity and a needs assessment were performed, by means of interviews with several stakeholders, a literature review and field visits to two farms.

Based on the results, different opportunities to improve the resilience of agriculture have been formulated.



Based on our study, several needs and recommendations have been highlighted that are linked to:

  • Data collection, mapping and monitoring at farm and regional level

  • Tailor-made training and capacity building on methods to deal with salinity

  • Water and irrigation management at farm level

  • Water management and governance at regional level


Several opportunities are highlighted for preventing, mitigating and adapting to salinity. These opportunities are linked to crop, soil and water.


On a crop level, this is mostly about adaptation. There are opportunities to select and use more tolerant rootstocks, but when salinity increases even further, than changing to a completely different crop may be the only solution.

But for soil and water, there are several opportunities regarding prevention and mitigation and these measures can also ensure that avocado cultivation can be maintained for a long time. These measures mostly focus on the water quality and quantity that can be implemented at farm and regional level.


The soil itself can also be used in several ways to ensure good crop development. This is mostly linked to overall soil quality, at a chemical, physical and biological level, that can help the plant to withstand the salt stress, mostly by eliminating other stresses as much as possible.

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