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Challenges in the way of privatization of water in Latin America, especially in Bolivia

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The history of South America has always been marked by the looting of its natural resources by the West. The history of water resources is no exception to this rule. While the region's natural resources could provide each individual nearly 110,500 cubic feet (33 680.4 m³) per year, the average person has access to only 1010 ft³ (307.8 m³) per year. In comparison, North American has access to an average of 4160 cubic feet (1268 m³) and the European 2 255.6 ft³ (687.5 m³). Latin America holds the world record for the availability of water with a little less than 110,500 cubic feet (33,680 m³) per person, per year. But unfortunately, some aspects of its geography, pollution and social inequality, imbalance conditions of access to water for Latin Americans, and most of them are far from consuming their entire share.

Latin America is considered one of the largest "water banks" of the planet: the continent together accounts for 26% of fresh water on Earth, an abundance that can perhaps explain the tendency to waste. Hydrography of South America is as varied as it is abundant.
Above all, it should be noted that South America has a hydrographic status marked by the generosity of freshwater basins: the Amazon basin, which provides own 20% of the overall output, including Orinoco and Parana. Basin Guarani (which runs through Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), is one of the largest aquifers in the world with an area of 1,190,000 km2 , capable of supplying the world's population for 200 years. Another significant basin is the Pantanal, an area of 165,000 km2 including Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil, a huge supply of fresh water and a promising tourist area, with its highly original topography, lakes, ponds, lagoons, islands, etc.

Finally, the Amazon basin alone is a real phenomenon. Its length would be 6700 km. It would have about 1,100 tributaries and its watershed would include 80,000 km of waterways. Its average flow is about 200,000 m3 /s and flood flows amounted to 360,000 m3/s. At 3000 km from the mouth, its flow is already 46,000 m3/s equivalent to the flow of the Congo, the second most powerful river in the world.

The continent also has four of the 25 largest rivers of the world: the Amazon, Paraná, Orinoco and Magdalena - with a combined capacity of 5,470,000 ³ (8,800 km ³) almost equaling that of 21 others.

By its geological structure of eroded plateaus and alluvial plains, opposed to the reliefs highlight of western Europe, the Americas have two main types of rivers. Those which lead to the Atlantic Ocean, which are long, slender and calm, and those which lead to the Pacific Ocean, which are short and torrential (they slide down the Cordillera). Thus, the drainage of much of South America is toward the Atlantic Ocean by three river systems, from north to south: the basins of the Orinoco, the Amazon and the Paraguay-Parana Basin. Each of these major rivers is a gateway to the interior.

Tags: water resources, Paraguay-Parana Basin, Amazon, Orinoco

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