Litueche is the administrative residence of the Rapel hydroelectric power plant and reservoir, although due to its size it is also part of the Las Cabras, La Estrella, and Pichidegua districts, all belonging to the O’Higgins Region.
Rapel forms one of the main reservoirs in central Chile. Inaugurated in 1968, it forms an 8,000-hectare and approximately 40-km long artificial lake, using the waters of the Rapel River, formed by the confluence of the Cachapoal and Tinguiririca Rivers. For its construction, the road to Melipilla and San Antonio was made, and then, with the wall of the dam, the road linking the provinces of Cardenal Caro and Melipilla was built. Therefore, ever since its origins, the reservoir has been considered as a contribution to urban growth and, above all, to the growth of tourism in the area, allowing it to be a consolidated activity in the territory today.
For this reason, in 2014 it was declared as an Area of Tourist Interest (ZOIT), thanks to efforts promoted by the Rapel Lake Development and Protection Corporation (CODEPRA), an organization made up of lake residents that seeks to promote and consolidate sustainable tourism in the reservoir. The ZOIT condition implies that in the territory covered by it, tourism activities and undertakings are to be the priority over any other project, and that any initiative counter to the foregoing should be rejected by the authorities. Around the reservoir and its districts, there are more than 70 different places for lodging accommodations -hotels, residential facilities, cabins, and camping sites -, and places for recreational activities, the practice of nautical sports, businesses, and restaurants. Along with this, on the southern side of the reservoir there are more than a hundred private properties, and some have even expanded into reservoir lands.
Community relations take place mainly with the district and municipality of Litueche, which urban center is located about 20 km from the dam, in the search for alternatives that enable promoting the social and productive development of the territory in a sustainable way.
Likewise, there is a permanent relationship with CODEPRA for the promotion of the sustainable development of the reservoir and compliance with some minimum conditions, agreed orally, towards this, such as a certain water level during certain periods of the year, to allow the promotion of the tourist exploitation of Rapel.