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Glaciers Melt, Lake Dries, Water Supply Diminishes in Bolivia as Climate Change Wreaks Havoc

LADB Article ID: 80176
Category/Department: Bolivia
Date: 2017-01-06
By: Andrés Gaudín

The effects of climate change are more intense in Bolivia than in any other country in Latin America. The country is now in its worst drought in 25 years, with rain barely measurable since January 2016, average temperatures rising, and glaciers melting at an alarming rate. Authorities have called for an early start to summer vacations and re-established primitive ways of water distribution, and since Nov. 8, a strict water-rationing program has been in place. For one-fifth of the country’s population of 10.5 million, water is available for just three hours every three days. For a decade, national and international researchers have warned about Bolivia’s vulnerability to climate change. The government took note and President Morales became the most dedicated climate change advocate in the region, supporting common actions that would confront this issue at a global level. Even so, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) warned In a 2013 report that Bolivia is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, even though Bolivia’s low level of greenhouse gas emission contributes less to climate change than the emissions produced by other nations. The situation has already resulted in gradual glacial melt and the disappearance of Lake Poopó, the country’s second largest lake. Its disappearance had been predicted for the second half of this century, but it happened last year.

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