The Argos river takes its name from a Greek populated centre that occupied the territory of the current Cehegin locality presumably around 600 B.C. The territory used the river as a mining resource, as its condition as a mineralized river was known at that time.
The river is 45 kilometres long and is located within the limits of the Murcia province. It flows into the Segura river on its right bank. Along its trajectory, and throughout time, cultural elements have been found that are typical of the Iberians, as well as of the inhabitants of the southeast of the Iberian peninsula in the Bronze Age.
The Argos river is born in the territory of the municipality of Caravaca de la Cruz and receives waters from the south side of the Gavilan and Villafuerte mountain ranges through the rambles called Parriel, La Higuera, Las Buitreras, and Bejar.
In its channel, one can still find, near Archivel, an old-fashioned mill identified as the river flour mill, as it used water from this river to function. It is estimated that this was built around the 16th century.
This river, despite its low flow, is an important natural life centre for animal and plant species, such as Sideritis incana, esparto grass, and common cane groups, among others.
The Argos river yields its waters to the reservoir that bears its name. From there, it passes through the south of Calasparra and empties into the Segura river shortly before reaching the Almadenes Canyon. The Argos Reservoir began operating in 1974 and occupies areas of the Cehegin municipality, within the Campillo de los Jimenez district. It has a capacity of 181,000 cubic meters.
The purpose of the reservoir was to take advantage of its course for crops in the area and nearby municipalities. It also has a recreational function in terms of its ecosystem, fauna, and flora.
The Argos river contains other reservoirs beyond the Argos Reservoir. Among them is the Hoya del Nano, whose function is to retain and accumulate water for irrigation.
The fields that have benefited from these reservoirs correspond to the municipalities of Calasparra and Cehegin. The river is integrated into the Special Bird Protection Zone (ZEPA) called "Sierra del Molino, Quipar Reservoir and Llanos del Cagitan".
Flora and Fauna
The flora present in the Argos river and its banks consists of tamarisks, poplars, Aleppo pines, and willows. There are also blackberries, honeysuckles, and hawthorns. In the areas of the Argos reservoir, there is also preserved vegetation, where one can find trees that are not very common in Murcia, such as poplars and elms.
Regarding its aquatic fauna, there are the cattle egret, the black-crowned night heron, the grey heron, and the common heron. Carp and barbel stand out among the fish.
Various recreational and sports activities are carried out around the Argos river and the reservoir. Among them are hiking. Routes are available for this activity.
Fishing activities are also carried out.
This river, like other rivers with fragile ecosystems, has undergone soil deterioration due to past mining activities and pollution. Such deterioration has affected the oxygenation of the river’s water and aquatic fauna, as well as its banks and vegetation, which have decreased throughout history.
Morphological and ecosystem rebalancing programs have been proposed for the Argos river, thus contributing to the recovery of the strength of its channel. Warnings have been issued to all those who engage in sports and recreational activities in the river, urging respectful use of the ecosystem.