South America's Deadly Water Wars

By Michael Smith - 2013-02-13T12:53:59Z

Photograph by Gabriel Rinaldi

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Cracks in the Facade

South America has 29 percent of the world's fresh water reserves, more than any other region, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The water isn't always where the best mineral or agricultural riches are located so people are losing homes and farms as water is diverted to industrial uses. In the Peruvian Andes, the environmental ministry says Little Totoracocha Lake (left), which sustains about 200 families, is being drained by explosions at Newmont Mining's Yanacocha gold mine. The mine is on the other side of the rocky ridge in the background. Newmont disputes the findings.