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American team of scientists help protect Guatemala's Lake Atitlan
Date:6/22/2010

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Similar to Lake Tahoe, Lake Atitlan is a tourist destination nestled in the mountains with 10,000-foot elevation peaks surrounding it. Lake Atitlan is 5,100 feet in elevation, 11 miles long, 1,150 feet at the deepest, about 50 square miles of surface with about 60 feet of clarity. Atitlan's population is about 200,000 people living in 12 towns around the lake, with no sewage treatment plants and little control over fertilizers and inorganic products that run into the lake.

"We've been studying Tahoe for years and using the data. The local, state and federal governments have implemented policies and regulations to protect the lake's water quality and clarity," Chandra said.

Sewage is exported out of the Tahoe basin to water treatment plants, and controls on growth and construction practices have been implemented to protect the lake from sediment and other products from entering the lake.

"The solutions for Atitlan may not mirror those at Tahoe, but we hope to use the knowledge we've gained from studying Lake Tahoe to help clean and protect Lake Atitlan," Chandra said.


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Contact: Mike Wolterbeek
mwolterbeek@unr.edu
University of Nevada, Reno
Source:Eurekalert  

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