Lima’s Poorest Residents Are Buying Drinking Water From a Truck
(Bloomberg Markets) -- It rarely rains in Lima. Peru’s capital, on the country’s desert coast, gets only a third of an inch of precipitation a year. So the arid city’s 10 million or so inhabitants rely on three rivers for their water supply. Yet access to this resource isn’t equal for all.
About 1.5 million people aren’t connected to Lima’s drinking water grid or sewage system, according to Oxfam. Many poorer households in the city’s sprawling metropolitan areas depend exclusively on tanker trucks for their water.
At the same time, richer districts of the city have enough water for pools and gardens. The wealthy’s use of potable water for purposes unrelated to drinking or sanitation often exacerbates the limits on water access for their poorer neighbors, according to a recent report from researchers at Universidad del Pacífico in Lima.
Climate change may further aggravate water security in Lima. The World Bank points out that the extreme topology of the Andes Mountains make it difficult to develop climate models that will accurately predict rainfall over the coming decades. This poses a challenge for planning the city’s future.
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