Valdés-Pineda et al. (Sustainability 14:413, 2022) present data for changes in climate, socio-economic, and land use and land cover (LULC) from diverse sources, concluding that the main causes for the desiccation of the Aculeo Lake were the river deviations and aquifer pumping, along with the impact of reduced precipitation. Based on that, they infer that the previous study of Barría et al. (Reg Environ Change 21:1–5, 2021a), which concluded that the impact of the decade-long drought was ten times larger than the increase of human extractions on the lake desiccation lacks scientific validity. We disagree with the conclusions from Valdés-Pineda et al. (Sustainability 14:413, 2022) and document that their article uses fragmentary information of a complex system, misinterprets of our results, and fails to present a reliable attribution methodology. We show that the hypothesis that the disappearance of Aculeo Lake was largely due to local anthropogenic uses is unsupported.
- Land use/land cover
- Water budget