Vision Magazine - October/November 2023

An overflowing river in Chaclacayo, Peru, caused by heavy rains from the El Niño phenomenon in March 2017.

these threats). For instance, relocat- ing crops to more frost-prone zones heightens exposure, whereas am- plified spring rainfall intensifies the associated hazard. Therefore, farmers are advised to adapt and fine-tune their strategies to curtail vulnera - bilities, especially when adjusting exposure isn’t a practical option. Recent bouts of rainfall in Chile have hampered essential systems — spanning irrigation components such as channels, diversions, pipes and transportation structures like roads and bridges. This has stimulated a renewed interest in groundwater research. Consequently, farmers are now working diligently to rehabili -

tate these systems, aiming to be fully operational before the irrigation season arrives in October. This flurry of activity suggests that consumers should brace for escalating prices for staples like onions, carrots and cherries. Additionally, there might be observable shifts in supply chain dynamics and delivery schedules. The latest predictions from Columbia University postulate that the subsequent months could usher in above-average rainfall, comple - mented by escalated temperatures. An increase in spring rainfalls might jeopardize orchards, especially if it aligns with critical flowering stages. Moreover, a warmer and

wetter spring amplifies the proba - bility of fungal outbreaks and pest infestations. Thus, it’s a fitting juncture for us to reflect on our responses during past similar climate patterns, eval - uate their efficacy, and start putting resilient measures and robust infra - structure in place. Perhaps no severe outcomes will materialize, or our proactive measures might counter - act potential damages. But, inaction would certainly be very risky. • Dr. Diego Rivera is a professor at Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile and the principal researcher at the Center for Water Resources for Agriculture and Mining.

Vision Magazine 31

October/November 2023

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