Water treatment plants, La Paz, Bolivia
A local indigenous sheep herder walks past a water pipe at The Bolivian Ministry of Water treatment plant at Puchuckollo, Bolivia. The plant is run by state-owned Bolivian water utility EPSAS which manages the water distribution and sanitation services in capital La Paz and neighboring city El Alto.
Climate change and the fast diminishing glaciers in the Andes are posing a serious threat to water supplies. Scientists expect that global warming will melt most Andean glaciers in the next 30 years.
La Paz and it's sprawling satellite city El Alto are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the retraction of the glaciers. Over 2 million people in the region depend heavily on the thawing of Chacaltaya and neighboring glaciers for fresh water. The dams in the highland areas of the Altiplano divide are basically fed by two sources, rainfall and the glaciers, both are suffering from global warming. The declining levels of water in the dams is presenting another problem, contamination and the concentrations of salts, The Bolivian government have launched a number of schemes to help combat the shortage of water and improved water treatment to maintain quality as well as trying to educate and change habits of water usage.
Cochabamba, Bolivia, will host the World's People's Conference on Climate Change and the rights of Mother Earth from April 19th to April 22, 2010.