In addition to being a majestic river - the second longest in South America after the Amazon - the Paraná River is the waterway through which a large part of the area's primary goods are exported. Today, its economic importance has sparked an unexpected diplomatic conflict between Argentina and the countries with which it shares the basin.
Acaba Mundo has fallen into oblivion, despite its apocalyptic name – which roughly translates as World’s End - and historical importance as an urban waterway. It is a typical victim of Brazil’s metropolises, which were turned into cemeteries of streams, with their flooded neighborhoods and filthy rivers.
"Water is part of our culture, it is intrinsic to the Amazon," said José Manuyama, a member of a river defense committee in his native Requena, a town located in the department of Loreto, the largest in Peru, covering 28 percent of the national territory.
"We do everything through parties, we don't want power, we don't want to take over the role of the State, but we don't just protest and complain," said Itamar de Paula Santos, a member of the United Community Council for Ribeiro de Abreu
(Comupra), in this southeastern Brazilian city.
Fishermen are scarce in the Klamath River delta, unlike other fishing season, because climate change has driven up water temperatures which kills off the salmon, the flagship species of this region in northern California.
Is it possible to spend 5.2 billion dollars to clean up a river which is just 64-km-long and get practically no results? Argentina is showing that it is.
Guyana's new president, David Granger, sits down with IPS correspondent Desmond Brown to talk about how his country is preparing for climate change – and hoping to avert the worst before it happens.
Starting in 1999, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) of Trinidad and Tobago began a 10-year effort to map the country’s water quality. They started to notice a worrying trend.
Immortalised by a famous tango, the “Niebla del riachuelo” (Mist over the Riachuelo river) has begun to dissipate over Argentina’s most polluted river, much of which is lined by factories and slums. But two centuries of neglect and a complex web of political and economic interests are hindering a clean-up plan that requires a broad, concerted effort.
Peru urgently needs a national plan for the management of water over the next two decades, one that will take into account the effects of climate change and the social and environmental conflicts triggered by problems over water.
Three private sector initiatives are aimed at carrying water from the rivers in southern Chile to the arid north of the country by ship or through underwater or underground pipelines. The objective is to slake the thirst of the mining industry of this country, the world’s largest producer of copper.
The process of cleaning up the Matanza-Riachuelo river, which runs through the Argentine capital, shows remarkable progress. But the biggest challenge is purifying the water in the basin, which has been damaged by centuries of neglect.
José Geraldo Matos fondly recalls the massive traíras (Hoplias sp), carnivorous freshwater fish found in the lagoons and rivers of Brazil, that he used to catch in the Dos Cochos River just a few metres from his house.
Armed with chainsaws, machetes and shovels, local residents of El Salvador’s Lower Lempa River Basin, near the Pacific Ocean, are unblocking the flow of rivers and pruning the branches of trees on riverbanks to keep them from falling into the chocolate-colored water.