Bolivia’s second-largest lake dries up

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The second largest lake in the South American country of Bolivia has completely dried up.

Lake Poopo used to be about 1,000 square kilometres big. New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo is 616 square kilometres. So Lake Poopo used to be almost twice the size of Lake Taupo!

… but it’s been shrinking for several years and in December it completely evaporated.

More than 100 families have had to leave their homes in the last three years.

The lake has dried up before, and reappeared later on, but scientists have warned that recovery might not be possible this time.

No one knows for sure why the lake has disappeared. Some think its due to the el Nino weather pattern that has caused repeated droughts.

Others think the reason could be that water from the rivers that feed into the lake has been diverted for mining and farming, meaning that less water reaches the lake itself.

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