Farmers in the Peruvian Andes are refurbishing pre-Columbian dams to mitigate the harms caused by drought, Reuters reports. Repeated below-average rainy seasons have forced farmers in the district of Pamparomás to idle their barley, alfalfa, and tuber fields — crops they grow both for sustenance and income — for over half the year. Climate change, caused mainly by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, exacerbates extreme weather patterns and makes droughts worse and more frequent.
“It’s very dry, we’ve had few rains for the past two, three years,” Damian Quiroz, a farmer and father of eight in Pamparomás, told Reuters. Using both local materials and modern geotextile, farmers built a three-meter dam on top of remains identified by an Argentinian archeologist for a tenth of the cost of a concrete dam. “We are very impatient,” Quiroz said. “With the water we’ll feed some cows to make cheese, and guinea pigs for us and hopefully to sell.” (Reuters)