“Antofagasta, situated on the edge of the Atacama Desert, relies on a vast desalination plant which provides the city with drinking water – but the waste brine is killing wildlife, say fishermen”
As Eduardo Muñoz drifts his ageing skiff into Antofagasta’s harbour, flecks of paint peeling from its prow, he looks disconsolate.
“I used to get twice as many clams from every dive,” he mutters bitterly, hauling two large sacks of shellfish on to the dock and ruffling the salt from his hair.
“Since desalination began a few years back I’ve hardly had any luck,” he says. “The salt they pump back into the sea kills everything, and there’s just a thick layer of sludge on the sea bed now.””