In 1998, scientists predicted that the Chacaltaya glacier above La Paz would have completely disappeared by 2015. Now experts say it will already be gone completely early this year.
The 2 million residents of the city of La Paz and its suburb El Alto depend on the surrounding glaciers for some of their water needs. El Alto has expanded from 220,000 residents in 1985 to almost one million today, increasing the demand for water. Half the electricity of the country is also produced from hydro-power, meaning the lack of rain and disappearance of glaciers may create an energy crisis in the future when the glaciers have gone.