Strengthening Local Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Bolivian Altiplano
In the impoverished Bolivian Highlands (Altiplano), changes in local climate are already having significant impacts on infrastructure, land use, production, and livelihoods. Most of these impacts are linked to limited water availability and sporadic, intense precipitation resulting in flooding. This project aims to build the capacity of communities in Bolivia's Central Highlands to adapt to water-related impacts of climate change by identifying the most viable adaptation options. To improve the evidence on climate change and its impacts on water, researchers will develop downscaled climate scenarios for the region. These scenarios will include estimates of future changes in precipitation, evaporation, and water flows from Lake Titicaca, the main water reservoir in the Bolivian Altiplano. Researchers will then couple these scenarios with hydrological models and projected trends in land use and agriculture to identify the areas and populations most vulnerable to water-related climate change. The government of the province of Oruro has expressed an interest in pioneering adaptation plans and has already endorsed the project. It is expected that the research will guide the provincial government's planning and investments, including the allocation of potential international adaptation funds. This project is funded through IDRC's Research Initiative on Water Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean with funds from the Government of Canada's fast-start financing.