Lake Titicaca: Full of Peru's "Caca"

Lake Titicaca, known as the world's highest navigable lake (and most snicker-worthy place name) is, apparently, full of "caca".

Peru's Environment Ministry reports that over 12 million cubic meters of raw sewage are dumped into Lake Titicaca every year. Since Titicaca is one of Peru's most valuable tourist destinations and one of the "new" seven wonders of the world, this is big news.

According to the country's Environment Ministry, the source of the pollution is the city of Puno, population 100,000 plus. Apparently, Puno produces 100 metric tons of solid waste every day, which ends ends up in Titicaca, as does more than 70 percent of the city's untreated liquid waste, which comes from homes, runoff from hospitals, factories, tanneries and slaughterhouses.This toxic sludge is full of methane, which is cited as a major contributor to global warming.

"Without sewage treatment facilities, this lake is doomed," a spokesman for Peru's Environment Ministry told reporters.

But sewage treatment facilities aren't going to come fast enough. "For poor people living along Lake Titicaca's shores, the struggle to survive often takes precedence over protecting the environment."

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