The Dominican Republic has seven major drainage basins.
of these rise in the Cordillera Central and a sixth, in
Sierra de Yamasá. The seventh drainage system flows into
Enriquillo (Lake Enriquillo) from the Sierra de Neiba to
north and from the Sierra de Baoruco to the south. In
other rivers are either short or intermittent.
The Yaque del Norte is the most significant river in
country. Some 296 kilometers long, with a basin area of
square kilometers, it rises near Pico Duarte at an
2,580 meters in the Cordillera Central. It empties into
de Monte Cristi on the northwest coast, where it forms a
The Yaque del Sur is the most important river on the
coast. It rises at an altitude of 2,707 meters in the
slopes of the Cordillera Central. Its upper course through
mountains constitutes 75 percent of its total length of
kilometers. The basin area is 4,972 square kilometers. The
forms a delta near its mouth in the Bahía de Neiba.
The Lago Enriquillo lies in the western part of the
Enriquillo. Its drainage basin includes ten minor river
and covers an area of more than 3,000 square kilometers.
northern rivers of the system rise in the Sierra de Neiba
perennial, while the southern rivers rise in the Sierra de
Baoruco and are intermittent, flowing only after heavy
The Lago Enriquillo itself covers some 265 square
water level varies because of the high evaporation rate,
the average it is forty meters below sea level. The water
lake is saline.
Data as of December 1989