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Photo by Alex Proimos (Lake Titicaca) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A milestone has been reached in the long struggle to clean up the famed Lake Titicaca. Bolivia and Peru have agreed to provide more than $500 million to manage the lake’s recovery through 2025.

This is great news. Pollution of the lake and surrounding areas has been widely documented. In 2014, Pure Earth investigated the contamination in one community in Puno, on the northwestern shores of Lake Titicaca (read more here).

Amanda Ludlow, principal scientist with Roux Associates, Inc., and a member of Pure Earth’s Technical Advisory Board, assessed the site to measure contamination from mining activities and 15 abandoned oil wells (out of hundreds in the region). She reported that among the pollutants detected was 36,715 mg/kg of arsenic in the ground near potato fields, homes and a school.

Pure Earth developed a detailed assessment plan and is looking for an opportunity to implement it in the future. In the meantime, we will keep an eye on how cleanup is progressing in the region, and stand ready to help.


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