The Lost Lakes of Mendoza

Wine Republic - Mendoza, Argentina - Things to do, Activities, Wineries, Tourism

guanacache lost lakes .001Ben Shirley wades into the disappearing wetlands of Mendoza province.

As with so many popular myths, the local belief that Mendoza is a desert can be easily contested. Sure, it is a land with a dry crust, but from the peak of the largest mountain range on the planet to the wetlands below, via reservoirs and rivers, the province is blessed with huge amounts of what has become a valuable commodity – fresh water. To be more precise, fresh, mountain melt water. Cordon Del Plata – a range of peaks covered in snow all year round (and which can be seen from the city), and Aconcagua mountain and park, together must be the largest single snow-trap known in the natural world.

Like all resources, and especially given the dry climatic conditions in the region, this water means wealth and power. In Mendoza Cipolletti dam, inaugurated in 1890, and Potrerillos dam…

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