The South American Altiplano in the Andes is, aside from Tibet, the most extensive high plateau on Earth. This semiarid area represents important water resources storages, including the Lakes Titicaca and Poopó located in the northern and central Altiplano, respectively. The two lake basins and the southern saltpans constitute a large watershed, called the Lake Titicaca, Desaguadero River, Lake Poopó, and Coipasa Salt Flat System (TDPS hydrologic system). The Altiplano climate, topography, and location determine the TDPS hydrologic functioning. Scarce data and high spatial variability represent challenges to correctly simulate the TDPS water budget. Consequently, there is an important need to improve the understanding of the water resources in current and future climate over the area. The paper provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art regarding current knowledge of the TDPS hydro-socioeconomic system and summarizes the data needs to improve the current hydrological understanding.
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© 2016 by the authors.