World Water Day: National Parks, their main protectors

In our country, the National Parks Administration (APN) is responsible for the care and protection of important water resources, which guarantee the life of animals, plants and people, and are also essential for the sustainable development of the planet.

National Parks ensure the quality of the water they capture and accumulate rain, snowfall and clouds based on their diverse reliefs and native flora. This is how protected areas function as reservoirs and channel managers.

In Argentina there are many landscapes where water is its main attraction. In our country there are a varied number of rivers, lakes, lagoons, wetlands, ice fields and groundwater.

An emblematic case is the Plata Basin, one of the most important in the world since it occupies one fifth of South America, covering the territories of five countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Millions of people live in relation to these environments of rushing rivers and unexpected floods. The Iguazú and the Paraná come together when entering Argentina through the missionary north, and downstream the contributions of other great rivers such as the Bermejo, the Pilcomayo, the Uruguay, the Salado and thousands of streams that contribute to this network are added. only.

The national parks of the NEA region have a direct relationship with this system that runs south to end in the sea from the mouth of the Río de la Plata. El Impenetrable, on the banks of the Bermejo, in Chaco; Pilcomayo River (Formosa) next to the homonymous river; Islands of Santa Fe and Pre Delta on the Paraná, one on the Santa Fe coast and the other on the Entre Rios margin; El Palmar on the Uruguay, also in Entre Ríos, until reaching the Ciervo de los Pantanos National Park on the Paraná de las Palmas, between the Buenos Aires cities of Escobar and Campana.

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One case is the Iguazú National Park (Misiones) designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. The area protects the Iguazú Falls, Wonder of the World located on the Iguazú River, which have Outstanding Universal Value according to UNESCO.

There, the Iguazú River runs with a width of 1,500 meters, dotting islands and islets. After the vertiginous jumps it ends in a deep canyon excavated by the same watercourse, which leads it to the Paraná River.

In the south the stars are the glaciers. In addition to their imposing beauty, they fulfill an essential role: the world’s largest reserve of fresh water. Although water is the most common element on Earth, only 3% of the planet’s water is fresh, the rest is made up of seas and oceans.

In Santa Cruz, Los Glaciares National Park (Unesco World Heritage Site) preserves an extensive area of ​​continental ice and glaciers. Within the protected area there are 55 glaciers, of which 13 descend towards the Atlantic basin. After Antarctica and Greenland, the Ice Field is the largest reserve of fresh water in the world.

In the same province, the Patagonia National Park is an important water reserve in the area from which rivers, streams and springs descend that ensure the supply of water to a wide region.

On this day it is also important to highlight the role of the Quebrada del Condorito National Park, a large collector and reservoir of water from summer rains.

During the winter, the region’s rivers are basically fed by the water retained in the aquifers. Here water is captured, stored and distributed for much of Córdoba. For this reason, among other reasons, the protection of the soils and the vegetation that covers them is essential to guarantee the water cycle of the region.

Iberá, also in Corrientes, is an impressive area as it is one of the largest freshwater wetlands on the planet. The ecosystem supports fabulous wildlife including more than 380 species of birds. Estuaries, rivers and lagoons are the best-known natural environments for the area.

The origin of World Water Day dates back to 1992, when the United Nations (UN) recommended its creation during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro.

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