THE WARU WARU OF THE ANCIENT ANDEAN
LOCATION | Lake Titicaca, Brazil
TYPOLOGY | Aquafarming
SYSTEM | Waru Waru
PEOPLE | Ancient Andean
In the high-altitude lands surrounding Lake Titicaca on the border of Bolivia and Peru, unexpected striations are seen to scar the surface of the earth. At an altitude of four thousand meters, this basin has been a major center of agricultural production, dense human population and the home of the several important Pre-Columbian civilizations. Over the past eight thousand years, the landscape of the Lake Titicaca Basin has been terraformed into a topographic tapestry of raised fields and canals that work with, not against, annual flooding, drought and shifting climatic conditions. This ancient irrigation and intensive agricultural system has such positive localized environmental effects that it represents a workable model in contemporary agricultural contexts to alleviate the environmental stressors of climate change, deluge and drought.
Illustrations by Despo Thoma