My husband and I were in Paine last Friday and decided to stop by Laguna de Aculeo to see how it looked because it was reported to be filling up with all the rain this year. It was fuller than I thought, looking pretty good. We didn’t drive all the way down to the shore. This was one of the best places to get a view from the route we took. Several other people were checking it out too.
Looks better than the last news I saw a while ago. This year has been a good year for rain. Some say the drought is over, however there is still a longer term trend to dryer conditions / less water due to climate change and perhaps economic growth, agricultural growth and more houses being built.
This study Water management or megadrought: what caused the Chilean Aculeo Lake drying? — Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez estimates the climate factor at 10x the land use factor,
This article blames water privatisation instead and cites a different study Why did Chile's huge lagoon really disappear? – DW – 03/08/2022 It says “A peer-reviewed study published in the journal Sustainability in January 2022 found that, although below-average rainfall had had an effect over the past decade, there was “indisputable evidence” that water had disappeared because of human activity — mainly through diverting rivers and pumping groundwater from aquifers that had replenished the lake.”
I haven’t been to this area for years because I was put off by the fact that driving around the lake it is surrounded but private properties and it’s not obvious how to get to the lake without paying for a camping site, restaurant etc. It’s the same with the mountain, Cerro Cantillana. There is private land all around it, how do you get to it at any time of day or night without an agreement with a private organization?
Once it’s clear how to access the mountain and the lake for free (a modest parking charge for a car is fine) then I’llreturn to the area and probably spend money in all the local businesses. Until then, I’m out.