There are 8,791 mine tailing sites identified in highland Peru that contaminate freshwater sources with acid rock drainage (ARD) and metals. Recession of 18 glacier ranges as a result of climate change is worsening ARD. Pollution with metals affects irrigation systems, crops and human health. Mountain communities have low trust on information about environmental problems coming from outside sources.
We used a Participatory Action Research approach, a structured process that affirms local knowledge and the capacities required to engage external experts as colleagues. This approach yields information that is usable and trusted by communities. The technical solution designed by local researchers was a low-cost artificial sedimentation and artificial wetlands that quickly improves pH reducing the level of metals in water.
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