Water and sustainable development of the Altiplano, Bolivia

Project: Research


Bolivia needs to increase and improve its agricultural production significantly in order to support the growing population. But at the same time, the country suffers a severe shortage of available water, which is especially significant in the Altiplano. This is mainly due to extreme climate variability in the area. Unfortunately, the future may turn worse for this area due to climatic stress and climate change. Thus, the amount of water per capita will decrease. For this reason this project aims to establish a strategy to strengthen the training of human resources through competitive research linked to water resources engineering. The efforts are expected to improve conditions for sustainable natural resources management and sustainable production of Quinoa. The first part of the project is focused on the Poopo Lake Basin, located in the central part of the Altiplano, as a pilot research area.

The project for this area focuses on water resources research, taking into account two integrated research areas: hydroclimatology and groundwater, which includes the training of two engineers at Ph.D. level in a sandwich manner (Sweden-Bolivia). The research strategy is based on field work through monitoring of water and climate, also doing hydrogeological survey; in both cases considering modern and appropriate technologies and methods. First, we will include observed hydroclimatic data and then satellite data for the climate and hydrologic research. On the other hand, for the groundwater, the research area of interest is the Caracollo basin that contains the Challapampa aquifer which is part of the Poopo Lake Basin. For this initiative we have an institutional collaboration agreement, in which the Hydraulic and Hydrologic Institute is the main partner, supported by two Departments at Lund University, the French IRD canter and the local SELA-ORURO company.
Effective start/end date2013/09/012018/06/01

Collaborative partners