At least 21 rivers in Peru have been contaminated by mine tailings, wastewater and other industrial and domestic waste, according to national water authority ANA.
The majority of the contaminating sites, such as tailings dams or dumps, have been catalogued by the mines and energy ministry (MEM).
ANA has said the contamination can be reversed and the rivers cleaned up if current water regulations are applied, state news agency Andina reported.
Regions such as Cajamarca have called on ANA to strengthen its presence locally to more efficiently monitor river waters and avoid social conflicts.
The affected rivers include the Tingo (in Cajamarca), Puyango (Tumbes) and Chipillico (Piura), all of which have been affected by mining activity. Others include the Huachocolpa and Escalera rivers (Huancavelica), and rivers Ramis (Puno) and Abujao (Ucayali).
In Madre de Dios region, informal mining has contaminated rivers such as the Madre de Dios, Huepetuhe, Las Piedras, Tambopata and Malinowski, while Arequipa region's Chili river is contaminated by domestic wastewater.
In related news, the agriculture ministry appointed Hugo Jara Facundo as ANA's new head on Monday (Aug 8), replacing Javier Carrasco, the water authority said in a release.