Economy July 12, 2016 | 9:04 am

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Hispaniola’s biggest lakes gradually recede to historic levels

Boca de Cachon, Dominican Republic.- Slowly but steadily,the water of lakes Enriquillo and Azuei, on the Haitian side, have dropped tothe level similar to when they began to encroach on the surrounding land.

Some farmers have even began to recover land in some areas thathad been under Enriquillo’s hypersaline waters.

From Villa Jaragua in the northeast to Boca de Cachon inthe southwest og the lake in Independencia province, many plantations are nolonger under water, after nearly five years of flooding.

The two lakes’ levels had peaked in 2011, when the watersnot only uprooted farmlands, but also homes in Boca de Cachon, forcing thecommunity to move to a new government-built village.

Santo Domingo State University (UASD) researchers quoted said a study to determine the causes of Enriquillo’s floodingpredicted a reversal starting 2013.

But despite the lake’s receding, much of the soil will besaturated with salt, which would make farming untenable unless the governmentintervenes by removing the upper layers, and build retaining walls to preventnew incursions.

Area farmers however seem to have adopted what the team of researchesheaded by UASD physics professor Ramón Delanoy had proposed, having plantedbananas, corn and other crops in some places that are now desalinated.

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