Drought Hits South American River, Threatening Vast Ecosystem

The Paraná River, one of the main commercial waterways in South America, has reached its lowest level in nearly 80 years due to a prolonged drought in Brazil that scientists attribute to climate change.

At peril is a vast ecosystem that includes potable water for 40 million people, the livelihood of fishing communities and farmers, and the navigability of a major grain export hub.

The National Water Institute of Argentina has defined the low water level of the Paraná River, which goes through Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, as “the worst since 1944.”