The Tequendama Falls, a popular Colombian tourist destination located 32 kilometers west of Bogota, have run dry and the water that remains is filled with polluting waste. Residents are calling for the local government to take action.
Pollution of the historic water way has been attributed to a decision to divert the Bogota River away from the waterfalls in the 1930s in order to supply the manmade Muna lagoon, as well as to the use of the water by energy plants that lie further upstream, El Espectador reported.
Changing climate patterns caused by El Niño have also reportedly had an effect on the supply of water reaching the waterfalls.
Local inhabitants voiced concerns about the rise in illness and infection spread by the newly stagnant waters, with particular fears for the potential increase of dengue in the area.
For this reason the community of Soacha, the municipality in which the waterfalls are located, has called for new plans for water treatment and installation of connectors, so that raw sewage does not continue to mix with the waters of the Bogota River.
Soacha’s ombudsman, Fernando Escobar said that “as long as the plan for residual water treatment is not put into practice, the Taquendama Falls will not be able to run as they used to.”