Monday, March 25, 2013
Rivers of paraguay
From the city of Puerto Bahia Negra, Paraguay, the river forms the border between Paraguay and Brazil, flowing almost due south before the confluence with the Apa River.
The Paraguay makes a long, gentle curve to the south-southeast before resuming a more south-southwest course, dividing the country of Paraguay into two distinct halves: the Gran Chaco region to the west, a largely uninhabited semi-arid region; and the eastern forested departments of the country, accounting for some 98% of the country's inhabitants. As such the river is considered perhaps the key geographical feature to the country with which it shares its name.
Some 400 kilometres (250 mi) after flowing through the middle of Paraguay, at the confluence with the Pilcomayo River and passing the Paraguayan capital city, Asunción, the river forms the border with Argentina, flowing generally south-southwesterly for another 275 kilometres (171 mi) before it reaches its end, joining with the Paraná River.
Deep water port on the River Paraguay in Asunción, Paraguay
The Paraguay River is the second major river of the Rio de la Plata Basin, after the Paraná River. The Paraguay's drainage basin, about 365,592 square kilometres (141,156 sq mi), covers a vast area that includes major portions of northern Argentina, southern Brazil, parts of Bolivia, and the entire country of Paraguay. Unlike many of the other great rivers of the Rio de la Plata Basin, the Paraguay has not been dammed for hydroelectric power generation, and as such it is navigable for a considerable distance, second to the Amazon River only in terms of navigable length on the continent. This makes it an important shipping and trade corridor, providing a much needed link to the Atlantic Ocean for the otherwise landlocked nations of Paraguay and Bolivia. It serves such important cities as Asunción and Concepción in Paraguay and Formosa in Argentina.
The river is also a source of commerce in the form of fishing and providing irrigation for agriculture along its route. It also serves as a way of life for a number of poor fishermen who live along its banks and make the majority of their income selling fish in local markets, as well as supplying a major source of sustenance for their families. This has created issues in large cities such as Asunción, where poverty stricken farmers from the country's interior have populated the river's banks in search of an easier lifestyle. Seasonal flooding of the river's banks forces many thousands of displaced residents to seek temporary shelter until the waters recede from their homes. The Paraguayan military has been forced to dedicate land on one of its reserves in the capital to emergency housing for these displaced citizens. The river is a tourist attraction for its beauty.
The Paraguay River is the primary waterway of the 147,629-square-kilometre (57,000 sq mi) Pantanal wetlands of southern Brazil, northern Paraguay and parts of Bolivia. The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland and is largely dependent upon waters provided by the Paraguay River.