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Guadiana(gwäthyä`nä), river, 510 mi (821 km) long, rising in the La Mancha Plateau, E Spain. It flows west through central Spain, then south, forming part of the Spanish-Portuguese border (except for a swing into Portugal), to the Gulf of Cádiz in the Atlantic Ocean. Although one of the longest rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, it is only navigable to Mértola, c.40 mi (60 km) upstream. The Guadiana has been dammed to create several large reservoirs; these waters are used to irrigate the fertile area around Badajoz and to generate hydroelectric power.
a river in Spain and Portugal. Length, 820 km; basin area, 68,000 sq km. The Guadiana originates on La Mancha plateau, then flows in a deep valley in the New Castile plateau and along the Estremadura lowland. It crosses the hilly plains of Alentejo, emerges onto a coastal plain, and empties into the Gulf of Cádiz in the Atlantic Ocean, forming an estuary. It is fed by rain. Its maximum water level is in the winter and spring, and it is at its low level in the summer. Located on the Guadiana are the Cijara Reservoir and a hydroelectric power plant. The river is used for irrigation, and it is navigable. (Maritime vessels go as far as the Portuguese city of Pomaräo.) The Portuguese port of Vila Real de Santo Antonio is located at the mouth of the Guadiana.