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Bolivia’s central high Andean plateau and climate change

The Bolivian Plateau is a region where climate-related effects have increased and will continue to increase due to climate change and weather unpredictability.

Over time, this will have negative impacts on land use, production systems, infrastructure and livelihood strategies in rural communities.

The Plateau has been hit by different extreme events: droughts between 1942 - 1943 and 1982 - 1983, accompanied by severe flooding in southern Bolivia and northeastern Argentina.

Between 1984 and 1986 the TDPS System (Lake Titicaca [T], Desaguadero River [D], Lake Poopó [P] and Coipasa Salt Flats [S]) endured a period of heavy rainfall, raising Titicaca Lake water levels in more than two meters, causing severe flooding and heavy losses across the region.






Research geographical area

Mauri and Desaguadero - Low and Central - River basins are located in the close basin of the Bolivian Plateau. Mauri River is the main tributary of Desaguadero River and it is part of the TDPS system (Lake Titicaca [T], Desaguadero River [D], Lake Poopó [P] and Coipasa Salt Flats [S]), which drains the waters of South America region central highlands.

Mauri River has some of its headwaters in southeastern Peru but most of them are located in Bolivia (124 kilometers), feeding the Desaguadero River, which runs 433 miles from Lake Titicaca (La Paz) to Lake Poopó (Oruro). Mauri River regulates Desaguadero River salinity; both maintain the wildlife in the area, helping riverside communities get enough livelihoods.

The basin covers 38 municipalities in the departments of La Paz (Aroma, Villarroel and Pacajes provinces) and Oruro (Tomas Barron, Cercado B21 and Saucarí provinces), with a total population of 500,282 inhabitants distributed in 1,054 communities (INE, 2001).




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