Report: Climate change causing historic shortage of water in Tacna

The department of Tacna, on Peru’s southern border with Chile and Bolivia, is facing some of the scarcest water conditions in its history as a result of climate change, according to a report by the Peruvian think-tank Analysis for Development Group (Grade), the Washington D.C.-based Inter-American Development Bank, and the country’s Ministry of the Environment (Minam).

Areas most affected are the region’s provinces of Candarave and Tarata, located in the eastern part of the department in the Peruvian Andes. The Palca district, further southwest in Tacna province, has also been affected.

The study forecasts that temperatures will continue to increase and that precipitation on the region’s highlands will decrease, while Tacna’s lower areas should expect more extreme rains, state news agency Andina reported.

Authors of the study called for better management of Tacna’s water resources to mitigate the future impact of climate change.   The water shortage affects potato, corn, broad bean, kiwicha and quinoa crops.

Many of Peru’s arid coastal regions receive their water from Andean glaciers, which are in accelerated meltdown. At least 22 percent of the glacier area in the Andes has been lost since 1970. According to the Environment Ministry, droughts and increasing water shortage could also affect the neighboring departments of Moquegua and Tacna.

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