Officials are reporting that the Rímac River that runs through Lima, Peru, is noticeably clearer since the country introduced its coronavirus lockdown. According to Luis Enrique Yampufé Morales, a spokesperson for Peru’s National Water Authority (ANA), the river’s increased transparency is a direct result of the decline in contamination from human activities.
He told Peruvian publication El Comercio, “It is appreciated that the water is cleaner and more crystalline. There is recovery of vegetation and migration of birds, especially at the river mouth.”
The dumping of garbage, construction materials, and waste from businesses in the river has diminished since the stay-at-home orders, giving the river a break.
As reported by Newsweek, and according to Francisco Dumler, chairman of the board the company that operated the water treatment plant, the amount of solid waste reaching the La Atarjea water treatment plant has been diminished by 90 percent.
Flor de María Huamani Alfaro, an ANA spokesperson, said in a statement, “The state of emergency has allowed us to observe the impact of human actions on water resources. For this reason it is important that we become aware and consider that the water in our rivers and irrigated channels are for human and agricultural consumption, so they should not be areas for garbage dumping or clearing.”
Once the lockdown is over, water authority officials hope people will continue to refrain from polluting the river.