This study focuses the relationship between man, territory and water resources in the area of Andean Lake Puruhuay (Ancash, Peru). This region is rich in cochas (lakes), each of which has a special place in the local ancient and modern history. Highly specialized hydraulic structures were found in many of the sites investigated during the course of this research, suggesting that water carried out an important role in the area. Keeping aside a strictly economic analysis, studies revealed that specific rites developed in the area surrounding Puruhuay lake. During the pre-Hispanic past, access to Puruhuay and the perpetuation of ritual activities carried out at this stretch of water became an important factor for constructing the prestige and identity of the populations who lived in this area. This factor persists into the present day.