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Dying and Drying: The Case of Bolivia’s Lake Poopó

The second largest body of water in Bolivia has vanished. Will it ever return?

Published on the on June 30, 2017.

I have never seen Lake Poopó from up close. The last time I tried to reach the lakeshore, I could not find it.

I made my last attempt in June 2014 while carrying out anthropological field research in the municipality of El Choro, in Bolivia’s Altiplano region, the high plain of the central Andes. Lake Poopó, the principal body of water in the region, is the terminus of the Desaguadero River, which drains Lake Titicaca and much of the northern high plain. El Choro’s municipal territory is located between the Desaguadero’s two main channels and stretches down to the northern shores of the shallow, salty lake.


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