LA PAZ – Global warming has melted the ice and snow on Bolivia’s Chacaltaya, a peak 5,395 meters (17,688 feet) above sea-level that was once home to the world’s highest ski slope.
Bolivia’s top official for the Andean Regional Project on glaciers, Jose Luis Gutierrez, told Efe Friday that neighboring mountains such as Illimani and Huayna Potosi, “are affected by the same conditions” and could see their ice and snow cover disappear in the coming years.
He called the melting process “irreversible” and pointed out that it is exacerbating existing water shortages in La Paz province.
Gutierrez said that President Evo Morales’ government has already begun a “process of adaptation” to cope with the loss of Andean glaciers that provide drinking water and hydroelectric power for the capital city and nearby El Alto.
“The solution could be the construction of dams, compensating for the retreat of the glaciers, besides the campaigns to raise awareness” about water conservation, he said. EFE