Amid drought and slews of garbage, the Paraguay River is drying up

The key waterway, used for most of Paraguayan exports, has hit its lowest level in over 50 years, thanks to prolonged droughts

paraguay river pollution drought
Asunción Bay. Photo: Bruno Valenzano/Shutterstock

The 2,695-kilometer long Paraguay River is one of the biggest and most important rivers in all of South America. Winding through four countries, it is a key part of regional economies and tourism in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina. 

But this historic river is beginning to dry up.

Thanks to a prolonged drought that has aggravated the wave of forest fires throughout the Pantanal wetlands region, the Paraguay River has hit its lowest water level since 1969.

In response, the Paraguayan government declared a state of “hydrological emergency,” calling on the country’s state-owned sanitation company to put together a...

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