The non-governmental Central American Water Tribunal, based in San Jose, Costa Rica, issued a dramatic warning about future water shortages in the region. The amount of available water per capita has dropped by 60% since 1950, said officials, and is expected to be only 21% of the 1950 figure by 2050. People have caused the problem. In El Salvador, for example, most of the rivers now dry up in the summer because the excessive cutting of trees has altered the hydrological cycle, reported coordinator Mauricio Cermeno of the Salvadorean Ecological Union. In Guatemala, 90% of the surface waters are choked with rubbish or polluted by sewage, admitted the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, and 75% of El Peten – the second biggest wetland in Latin America – is in danger of turning into desert because of drought, deforestation, population growth, and land clearance for farming.
Summary by Louise Shaler
Read the original article: Jose Melendez, El Universal Online (in Spanish), 28 Sep 2009