Rivers and Drainage in Haiti


Source: The Library Of Congress Country Studies


No navigable rivers. Numerous rivers and streams, which slow to a trickle during the dry season and which carry torrential flows during the wet season, cross Haiti's plains and mountainous areas. The largest drainage system in the country is that of the Artibonite River. Rising as the Libón River in the foothills of the Massif du Nord, the river crosses the border into the Dominican Republic and then forms part of the border before reentering Haiti as the Artibonite River. At the border, the river expands to form the Lac de Péligre in the southern part of the Plateau Central. The 400-kilometer Artibonite River is only one meter deep during the dry season, and it may even dry up completely in certain spots. During the wet season, it is more than three meters deep and subject to flooding.

The ninety-five-kilometer Guayamouc River is one of the principal tributaries of the Artibonite River. The most important river in the northern region is Les Trois Rivières, or The Three Rivers. It is 150 kilometers long, has an average width of sixty meters, and is three to four meters deep.

The most prominent body of water in the southern region is the salt-water Etang Saumâtre, located at the eastern end of the Plaine du Cul-de-Sac. At an elevation of sixteen meters above sea level, the lake is twenty kilometers long and six to fourteen kilometers wide; it has a circumference of eighty-eight kilometers.


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