The Bermejo River Are you calling for help?

The Bermejo River Are you calling for help?

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By Nilo Alberto Schaller

Some explorers and authors, including Charles Darwin, considered the Bermejo River to be the Nile of America. To give it this name, they took into account its ancestral behavior of overflowing and, in this way, giving life and regulating the evolution of the prodigious and almost unique ecosystems of its flood valleys.

The Bermejo, more than a river, is actually a torrent. Since it is known and from what is known, from previous times, it has been characterized by having, among others, the following characteristics: a large number of meanders that, at present, would be indicators of senescence; changing coasts and a very high difference in flows between times of low water and peak flooding.

In addition, it should be added that large floods cyclically produced, until a few years ago, the aforementioned overflows that form the ecosystems of their basin.

The extremely high amount of clay, silt, sand and other minerals that its waters contain, especially in periods of flood, is another of its characteristics. These materials when sedimenting, in addition to modifying its channel, would be making it fragile to the changes that the instability of the climate and man are producing, both in its springs and throughout its entire basin.

Changes produced

The man based, fundamentally, on criteria of exploitation of resources, needs, damage and emergencies, proceeded to plug and prevent with defense works, the entry of the waters, of the ancestral overflows, to a wide area of ​​the central East of the basin . This fact produced a total change in the ecosystems regulated by the river. From natural environments based on flooding: estuaries, ravines and streams through which the waters flowed, it passed, when the floods were interrupted, to ecosystems or rather spaces, which are being invaded by dense populations of woody invasives. At the time of the works, there was abundant technical information that anticipated what might happen if they were carried out. Presumably, it was ignored, ignored, or underestimated. There were also proposals for solutions to the problem and overall, more friendly and even recovering the environment. They were not taken into account for reasons that cannot be mentioned here.

As is logical to suppose, this brutal change also affected the native fauna. From natural systems that gave life to a huge number of species, they moved to environments disturbed by man. In them, the number of species and the number of each of them is, in most cases, visibly less.

In addition, as there is less water on the surface, as expressed by some producers, the quantity and quality of water in the beds would be progressively decreasing, as they deepen and, in some cases, are depleted.

Other changes

To the above, it should be added that the river since 2003, to date, due to climate change, its cyclical behavior or both phenomena at the same time, has stopped reaching the known levels of overflow. Their flows are lower and this could be determining a trend, more notable, to decline. Let us remember, for example, that it was navigable until 1945.

Coincidentally, from the same year (2003) onwards, the annual rainfall regime was always below the average in the eastern center of the region, (the one with the highest population load), and in almost the entire course of the river. The decrease in rainfall was and still is a constant. As such, it also contributed to the fact that the aquatic ecosystems that still prevailed in the area have disappeared or are disappearing. The change in the appearance of the landscape, especially that of the low, low stretches and half hills, previously flooded, was brutal in this period and, everything seems to indicate that it will continue to take hold.

The significant drought is leading the authorities of towns and cities in Chaco and Formosa to "get their hands on" the Bermejo. All these ventures are based on drawing water from the declining river. This includes irrigation works for important areas. The realization of all these works, it is painful to say, would respond more to criteria of exploitation and urgency rather than to a careful and wise planning carried out by the competent institutions with the participation of the population.

The Bermejo does not have an infinite flow, it is just a tributary. Since 2003 it has brought less water and, for all the indicated reasons, it could be greatly diminished and even stop running in the dry season. To affirm this hypothesis, which may seem somewhat utopian, it is enough to analyze what has happened to him and what continues to happen to the "traveling companion, from Bermejo, in life and in times": the Pilcomayo River.


Fishing in the Bermejo River, as it is carried out, in almost the entire basin, is indiscriminate, irrational and unsustainable. The lack or scarcity of controls that allow compliance with the legislation is, without a doubt, one of the causes of this painful current situation.

Another cause is the lack of interest that exists in achieving the design and application of effective programs aimed at providing protection and sustainability to the ichthyological fauna.

It gives the impression that the same thing happens with fish as with river water: we think that they will never end and then we all fish and we do it, for the most part, with exploitation criteria and without complying with existing regulations.

With each passing day, the pressure exerted on the resource is greater and, at this rate, it is possible to conclude that in the medium term, the fish that are still present today will have disappeared and, with it, the waters of the river will be left without the essential regulation that fish carry out in aquatic ecosystems.

One proof of this is that commercial fishing in the Bermejo basin, being prohibited by jurisdictional agreements, has been authorized by authorities of some riverine localities. As far as is known, the measures would have been taken without any type of analysis of the resource and without consulting the competent authorities of the region.

Another problem that threatens the sustainability of the fish fauna, perhaps the most important, is the large centrifugal pumps. These, together with the water, extract, depending on the time of the year, millions of fish eggs, larvae and fingerlings that are inexorably lost. This evidently happens, because the problem, as such, has remained ignored and without being rationally analyzed. However, it is assumed that it could be easily solved if the will existed to achieve it. The benefits would be what we can all imagine: an important contribution to the sustainability of the fish fauna that today seems to matter little.

All of the aforementioned does nothing more than demonstrate the anarchic, indiscriminate and irrational use that we continue to make of a resource that belongs to everyone, as is the river.


We are still few, but the problem is already visible: out of habit, because we are like this or whatever it is, we are transforming the shores of our river and the river itself, into a garbage dump. This is most appreciated in the riverside cities where the Bermejo coasts are being transformed, little by little, into deposits of waste of all kinds. Solving this problem is not difficult and the main thing to achieve it would be to start by recognizing that it exists.

For reflection

If this continues, what will we be leaving to future generations? The answer to this question may be necessary to realize that we have to change. Perhaps the way is, not to look only at the human, to be able to turn something of our gaze to the natural environment that gives us life. And do it, based on correcting the mistakes we made and continue to make.

Video: SOÑAR con HACER el AMOR Que Significa? Que quiere decir? (July 2022).


  1. Nesida

    You hit the mark.

  2. Garwood


  3. Camdyn

    It absolutely not agree

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