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Bolivia declares emergency due to water shortage

By Andrew V. Pestano
Bolivia declares emergency due to water shortage
Bolivian President Evo Morales, seen here addressing the United Nations in April, said he and his emergency Cabinet declared a national emergency due to a water shortage caused by climate change. The declaration allows local and state governments to unlock additional funds to deal with water shortages. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Bolivian President Evo Morales declared a national emergency due to a water shortage brought about by a severe drought.

Morales said Bolivians must "work together to address the problems of global warming."

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"I convened the emergency Cabinet to treat the issue of the supply of the water in cities that face this problem," Morales said in a statement on Monday. "We declare a national emergency facing drought. Mayors and governors can use resources to cope with the climatic phenomenon."

Bolivia's Social Public Water and Sanitation Company has released water rationing schedules through much of the country. La Paz, the capital, is receiving about three hours of water a day.

Morales said Bolivians will "convert the emergency into an opportunity."

"We formed working teams to face the emergency and solve the problems of water shortage in the medium and long term," Morales added.

Bolivia's worst drought in decades is blamed on an unusually severe El Niño weather pattern this past year, which scientists accused climate change of exacerbating.

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