Back in the city, the people of La Paz do what all humans do in the face of a slow-motion disaster: adjust. On a Friday afternoon, Katherine Sanchez Lopez, a 43-year-old public-relations professional, sits in her two-story home in an upscale neighborhood. Santa Claus figurines perch on cabinets and a stairway landing, ready to greet Christmas with a cheery face. In other circumstances, the house might be described as tidy. These days, buckets and pots of all shapes and sizes, filled with water, perch on counters, hide behind chairs, and crowd the bathrooms. The seven people who live here use them for flushing, cooking, and sponge bathing.