La Plata Basin Program
In recent years there has been a major effort toward a closer integration between countries in South America. Of particular relevance, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, together with Paraguay, currently operate as a common economic market in southern South America (MERCOSUR). Regional governments are using the framework of the MERCOSUR to develop common socioeconomic policies, and in fact the scientific community is also starting to use MERCOSUR's structure to establish regional collaborative research activities. For these reasons, this time is especially auspicious for establishing collaborative projects in southern South America.

The La Plata basin in southeastern South America has always been a subject of interest for all of these countries because of its importance in the regional economies. But it is also important from the scientific standpoint due to the uniqueness of many of its climatological features. La Plata basin is located in an area where significant tropical-extratropical interactions take place; it holds the largest wetland in the world, known as "Pantanal", that naturally regulates floods, is a local source of moisture for precipitation processes, and has a wide variety of unique flora and fauna species.

The WMO/WCRP CLIVAR panel on the Variability of American Monsoon Systems (VAMOS) has found general consensus on the region's readiness to embark on and support collaborative research on the La Plata Basin's climate/hydrology. This readiness is primarily due to an enhanced awareness of the impact that climate variations can have on water resource management, energy production, agriculture and health. Improved prediction can potentially result in large economic and social benefits to the region.

  Eta Model
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Accumulated Average Precipitation - Graphics
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