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South America's Deadly Water Wars

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

Photograph by Gabriel Rinaldi

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Digging for Growth

Allocating water to industry is central to the economic boom that's brought prosperity to many in Latin America. Mining and agriculture helped Brazil's gross domestic product grow 43 percent from 2002 to 2012, after adjusting for inflation, while Chile's expanded 58 percent. Peru is on target to grow 6 percent in 2013, the fastest pace in South America. Families who live near Newmont's open pit Yanacocha gold mine (left), in northern Peru, complain of water shortages since the mine opened in the 1990s. Newmont says it built reservoirs that provide more ample and cleaner water than existed before the mine was built.