Feedback
News
gallery

Bolivia’s Second Largest Lake Dries Up Entirely

The water level at Poopo Lake began going down decades ago, and eventually the whole lake disappeared.

Car tires left marks on the dried Poopo lakebed in Oruro, south of La Paz, Bolivia on Dec. 17, 2015. Lake Poopo in Bolivia was the Andean nation's formerly second largest after the famous Titicaca. Bolivian lawmakers declared the lake a "disaster area" in late 2014.

David Mercado / Reuters

Fisherman Rene Valero, from the Urus ethnic group, stands on his boat on the dried Poopo lakebed in Oruro on Dec. 17, 2015. “There should be some rain. But that's not happening,” he told Reuters reporter David Mercado.

David Mercado / Reuters

Rene Valero stands at the dried Poopo lakebed in Oruro on Dec. 17, 2015. With the water gone, animals have died in the millions, according to studies. And the local people who were depending on the water for livelihood have been forced to migrate.

David Mercado / Reuters

A fisherman holds a fish carcass taken from the dried Poopo lakebed in Oruro.  

David Mercado / Reuters

The carcass of a bird lies on the Poopo lakebed. According to Milton Perez, a professor at the Oruro Technical University, the cycles of El Niño and La Niña don’t allow enough time for the lake to recover and exacerbate the conditions. 

David Mercado / Reuters

A fish carcass is trapped in the Poopo lakebed.

David Mercado / Reuters

Boats are left idle on the lakebed.

David Mercado / Reuters