Water is at the center of concerns with regards to lithium extraction from Andean salt flats, which are located in some of the driest areas of the planet. The salares constitute closed hydrological basins, which store minerals and chemical elements in brines and are greatly affected by climate change. Decisions about brine lithium extraction from the Andes salt flats should be steered towards safeguarding their water balance, and should be based on comprehensive scientific knowledge about the dynamics of each hydrological basin, how it interacts with the physical environment where it is located, and how it impacts nearby communities. This piece points at the role of law and governance in guiding decisions for lithium extraction in Argentina and Chile, and argues for the need of a new water blueprint for governing the salt flats for lithium production.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 1 Dec 2022|
|Name||Wilson Centre Lithium Triangle Initiative Semiannual Flagship Report|