Bolivians struggling by on 10-30% of normal water, sometimes just 3 hrs once every 3 days, some without potable water for 20 days

December 2, 2016

Bolivia drought

Bolivia’s Altiplano region –including the capital city of La Paz—is enduring its worst drought in 35 years, with precipitation levels at 10 to 30 percent of normal levels. As a result, many people only have access to potable water in their homes for three hours once every three days. Others have been without potable water for 20 days. The government is responding by bringing water in on trucks and, where the trucks cannot reach, distributing 60,000 liters of bottled water directly to people. The drought has also reached southern areas in Peru, where the government has declared a 60-day state of emergency. (El País 11/29/2016; Jornada 11/26/2016; Mercopress 11/29/2016)


Lake Cachet II, located in the foothills of the Aysén region in Chile, has made headlines since 2008 for an unusual phenomenon which causes the river to flood out all of its 200 million cubic meters of water in a matter of hours. The phenomenon is caused by the sudden drainage of lakes dammed by ice walls, also called glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). While not unheard of, this tsunami-style flooding is rare and occurs in almost all mountain ranges in the world at some point. The problem now is that scientists are concerned that global warming has greatly increased the occurrence of this phenomenon in Lake Cachet II and puts citizens of the region at risk of sudden and catastrophic flooding. As of yet, there is no way for scientists to predict when the outburst will occur or stop it from occurring. ( 11/30/2016)