Group from Chile visits Tacoma’s Urban Waters and downtown university

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A group of leaders from Chile visited Tacoma this week, the city announced Wednesday.

Led by the South American country’s ambassador to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdés, the delegation met with civic leaders and then toured the Center for Urban Waters, according to a city news release. Urban Waters is a research center on Tacoma’s Foss Waterway that focuses on clean water technology and sustainable urban development, among other things.

Jamie Ferraz, a Chilean official, said the delegation’s visit to Tacoma on Tuesday was to hear about the city’s “experience in protecting the environment as a part of sustainable development and how all the parts, including business, science, local and state government and society, can work together for the same objective.”

Half of Chile’s border is Pacific coastline. A recent United Nations report on the state of its water showed the country has made progress in the past two decades on providing clean drinking water, but Chile “still faces challenges in managing its water” including industrial discharge hazards, and water quality standards and monitoring.

Also Tuesday, the delegation also met with leaders from the University of Washington Tacoma and Puget Sound Partnership. It then toured the Port of Tacoma. Chile is Washington state’s largest trading partner in South America and No. 21 overall.

Kathleen Cooper: 253-597-8546