Bolivia’s lake Poopo dries up and scientists fear refill unlikely

Bolivia’s lake Poopo dries up and scientists fear refill unlikely.

8/3/2021 11:50:00 PM

Bolivia’s lake Poopo dries up and scientists fear refill unlikely.

Bolivia’s Lake Poopo was once a fountain of life for local inhabitants, who fished from its teeming waters and farmed along its banks.

Scientists say the one-time lake, which sprawls across Bolivia’s sun-drenched, high-altitude altiplano, has fallen victim to decades of water diversion for regional irrigation needs. And a warmer, drier climate has made its recovery increasingly unlikely.

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“It’s like a perfect storm,” says Jorge Molina, a researcher with the Universidad Mayor de San Andres. “Every year that passes the situation gets worse.”The lake, Bolivia’s second largest, is very shallow, and has traditionally ebbed and flowed, according to both scientists and the lake’s long-time Aymara inhabitants.

July 30, 202102:26Valerio Rojas, who once made a living from fishing the lake, says village elders tell of the lake recharging every 50 years. But looking out across the parched, white-rimmed salt flat that remains, he has his doubts.“Will the lake fill again? With this climate change and pollution, it seems to me that the weather can no longer be predicted,” Rojas said. “In our Aymara language it is said that: ‘Our mother earth is tired’.”

Scientists are also growing skeptical. Molina says the Andes are outpacing the global average temperature rise, especially during the day, which means evaporation has ramped up, making it especially hard for a shallow lake — and its flora and fauna — to survive.

“It is no longer a functional lake. A lake that dries up too often is no longer functional for fauna, flora and biodiversity,” Molina told Reuters.The drought is also driving away the communities that once lived along its banks, says Benedicta Uguera, an indigenous woman from Untavi who once raised livestock on an island in the lake.

“The families decided to leave the island, because we cannot survive without water and there is no more life,” she said. Read more: NBC News »

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madandpissedoff Sounds like a job for you, dead man. A Spanish town is offering families a free home and a job in a bid to encourage more people to settle there. The small picturesque town of Griego east of the capital Madrid- so send the illegals there The earth literally is trying to warn us,smh As the article clearly states decades of water diversion for irrigation.

Lake what? lol I'm sorry, Bolivia, but my inner 6 yr old just giggled. I mean, that it's dried is absolutely horrid, but still... I needed that. One wonders why there was a bicycle at the bottom Damn! That's shitty for Poopo! Poopo What will be will be.... Consider it a lesson in impermance and an observation of constant change.

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