Sustainable Wastewater Management in Cusco, Then and Now (VIDEO)

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

This short video reveals the genius of Inca irrigation systems and how they relate to modern wastewater management in Cusco today.

The Incas were undeniably incredible environmental engineers, if not the world’s best.  They built irrigation systems based on thousands of years of previous Andean civilizations’ technology. They did it in relative harmony with the natural environment, using the forces of gravity, soil development, and genetic manipulation of crops while connecting their empire with durable roads and bridges.

Their technology suited their way of life.  The legacy of their ingenuity is engraved into the landscape today.  The population of the settlement of Cusco is thought to have reached 150,000 people at the height of the empire.  Yet, times have changed.

Cusco as an urban area is now at least 3 times more populated than it was at its peak during the Inca Empire.  This dynamic combined with modernization means that the city is now producing more trash, more environmental contamination, and of course, much more human waste.

The following video from DW English Youtube Channel gives some insight into these changes and how Cusco seeks to follow in the more environmentally conscious footsteps of their ancestors with the application of modern technology.  Check it out and let us know what you think here at Living in Peru.




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Mike Dreckschmidt

Mike grew up and eventually attended university in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated in Integrative Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Urban and Regional Planning and has been a part of planning projects in three different countries. Mike’s passion is reading; he devours both literature and nonfiction. His favorite author is Peru’s own Julio Ramón Ribeyro.