The Water Without Borders (WWB) is a collaborative graduate program between UNU-INWEH and McMaster University. As a transdisciplinary program of excellence, it addresses water, environment and health issues across geopolitical and disciplinary borders and bridges practice, research and policy, engaging high-achieving students in an intimate experiential learning environment.
The WWB students have had the opportunity to visit two areas of Peru, Lima and Huaraz, during 16-23 February 2019. In Lima, the WWB students visited Rimac River, which flows from the western part of Peru and provides potable water to the Lima and Callao metropolitan areas. The key challenge with the river is pollution where 60 percent of the pollution is caused by mining activities in the upstream areas. Other places to visit in Lima were the Ministry of Health to know about their work on addressing water quality and water related health issues in Peru; and the Canadian Embassy to have briefing on their support to Peru in the field of natural resources management.
In Huaraz, which sits at 3,052 m above sea level, the WWB students visited INAIGEM (El Instituto Nacional de Investigación en Glaciares y Ecosistemas de Montaña), which aims to promote scientific and technological research in the field of glaciers and mountain ecosystems. The field trips to Callejón de Huaylas Valley, Caraz, and Palcacocha Lake provided the opportunity to the students to understand the key issues of accelerated rate of glacier melt, landslide, mudflow, and flooding. They also met with the associated communities to understand the community responses and government actions addressing these issues.
Top photo by Emily O’Kell: Lake Palcacocha, located in Huaraz, Perú, filters into the city and provides water for thousands of people.
This was taken in Yungai and overlooks the area that was impacted by the 1970 earthquake. Photo: Joann Varickanickal
This statue was around prior to the flood of 1971-2 and it was marked as a high point. The elevation of the statue saved lives when the flood swept through. Jesus is not on a cross. His arms are stretched out facing Lake Peron and blessing the people living along the mountainside. Photo: Alexandra Cotter
Community meeting in Cashapampa to discuss the needs and challenges the people have faced and overcome. Photo: Pragya Mishra
A group photo after receiving our participation awards at the WWB and INAGEM workshop. Photo: Muhammad Anwar
A hike taken with Rodrigo Narro Perez, Ph.D. student at McMaster University, to Lake Palcacocha. Photo: Admira Buzimkic
A view of a dam while driving through the Cordillera Blanca. Photo: Ayesha Asaf
Parts of the graffiti going under the water level displays the variation in water level of the Rimac river. Photo: Kavin Nivanthan Gunasekaran
A sunset in Lima on the final night of the field course. Photo: Amanda Giancola