Vanishing Lakes: Lake Poopó

By Matthew C. Pace

Apr 14 2023

Lake Poopó is a saline lake in the Altiplano Mountains of Bolivia. The lake lacks an outlet and occurs in an otherwise arid region. Climate change has caused significant retreats in Andean glaciers (the sources of Lake Poopó's water), and water is diverted for mining and agriculture. These human-induced pressures have caused Lake Poopó to dry, and it completely vanished in 2015. The lake has not refilled since, and the Bolivian government declared the area a disaster zone in 2016. The death of Lake Poopó has caused significant cultural and economic hardship for the indigenous Uru-Murato people.

More about: Climate change

Blair, L. (4 January 2018). The ecological catastrophe that turned a vast Bolivian lake into a salt desert. The Guardian.

Casey, N.., et al. (7 July 2016). Climate Change Claims a Lake, and an Identity. The New York Times.