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provincia (province), western Argentina. Mendoza province extends eastward from the high peaks of the Andes Mountains, which form its boundary with Chile. A considerable part of its area is occupied by arid and semiarid sections of sub-Andean ranges, foothills, and piedmont. The highest peak of the Andes (and the Western Hemisphere), Mount Aconcagua (22,831 feet [6,959 metres]), is in its northwest corner at the Chilean border. The most heavily populated districts of the province are at the base of the cordillera, in the north, where the Mendoza River, in particular, supplies water for irrigation. Toward the east are sandy plains with extensive saline basins, into which flow all the rivers, with the exception of the Grande River in the southwest. Dams built on the Atuel and Diamante rivers in the foothills of central Mendoza province have made the area around the city of San Rafael more agriculturally productive.