South America’s Largest Lake is Drying Out


Water levels at Lake Titicaca, South America’s largest lake and the highest navigable lake in the world, are dropping drastically due to an unprecedented winter heat wave. The falling levels are making it difficult for locals to make a living, according to CNN. More than three million people live around the lake, and many of them depend on the lake for fishing, farming and tourism. “I don’t know what we’re going to do anymore since we don’t have food for our cows or lambs,” farmer Isabel Apaza told Reuters.

Water levels typically fluctuate throughout the year, but the changes have become more extreme because of climate change. This year, the record-breaking heat wave has led to increased evaporation and decreasing lake levels, according to CNN.

“We are extremely worried most of all because the water level is falling a lot at the moment,” Jullian Huattamarca, who sells locally made textiles to tourists, told the outlet. He added that they want tourists to return to the region, “particularly foreign tourists.”

The region’s tourism industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest. Puno, which contains the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, was the epicenter of demonstrations calling for the resignation of President Dina Boluarte.