RIVERS IN DARKNESS
Developing project
Executive producer: Ana Cristina Henríquez


Where does the water in a river come from when it has not rained in three or four months?

The water that flows in the river or that forms lakes is nothing more than the rising of groundwater. All the rain water that falls to earth does not drain into the streams and rivers, but part seeps under the earth and accumulates there where conditions are suitable. Slowly, from these subterranean water deposits, the water moves toward its permanent course.

Only 2.82% of the water on the planet is fresh water and of this tiny fraction, 14% is found under the earth in subterranean water reserves and only 1% rises to the surface in the form of rivers and lakes.

There are few places in the world where a subterranean habitat remains unaltered, offering a unique opportunity to understand this type of system in tropical regions.

Admired for its great beauty, and its large variety of flora and fauna that include a thriving colony of Guacharo birds, the Cueva de la Quebrada del Toro National Park, has grown in importance in the light of recent explorations. In the areas adjacent to its boundaries there have been more than 28 unexplored caves discovered which can reveal new and important data for the scientific world.

The existence of a network of groundwater deposits in this area, under a huge limestone plateau covered by rocky woodlands, underlines its importance as a source of fresh water for the inhabitants of the region, along with the Cueva de la Quebrada del Toro river, which supplies the local population with water.

However, the advancement of the farming and fishing industries, the chopping down and burning of large trees over areas full of subterranean water supplies, puts this valuable resource in danger.

Get to know the investigations carried out by scientists specializing in caving and other disciplines whose achievements shed light on these rivers of darkness.


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