A River Runs Through It

Standard
A River Runs Through It

There’s the old saying about never crossing the same river twice, and that’s truer now than ever. Rivers have changed dramatically over the past few decades.

I probably crossed a few undammed, unhindered rivers on family trips when I was a kid, but if I tried to do the same thing today, I would need a good map and some determination.

Less that 1% of major rivers in the United States remain wild. And while the Amazon has neither dam nor bridge, many of its tributaries have both.

Survey map (1876) of the Fly River in Papua New Guinea. Approximately 25th in terms of size and volume when it comes to the world's major rivers, it is the largest remaining river that is still completely undammed. Source: Wikipedia

Survey map (1876) of the Fly River in Papua New Guinea. Approximately 25th in terms of size and volume when it comes to the world’s major rivers, it is the largest remaining river that is still completely undammed.
Source: Wikipedia

The group International Rivers posts on its website:

“Free-flowing rivers have become so rare that they would be classified as an endangered species if they were considered living things rather than merely support systems for all living things. What have we lost in the rush to dam our rivers?

Of the world’s 177 largest rivers, only one-third are free flowing, and just 21 rivers longer than 1,000 km retain a direct connection to the sea. Damming has led to species extinctions, loss of prime farmland and forests, social upheaval, loss of clean water supplies, dessicated wetlands, destroyed fisheries and more.”

The Gulf of Papua, the delta of the Fly River. Image: NASA

The Gulf of Papua, the delta of the Fly River.
Image: NASA

A new Oxford study show that major river dams are one of the least efficient economic investments a nation can make when it comes to generating energy – and that’s before the environmental costs are factored in.

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have made their settlements and livelihoods on the banks of rivers around the world. Rivers have connected communities and carried us to sea, across borders and continents. From the water they bring to their constant flow, rivers are, across cultures and time, the very symbol of life itself.

It’s International Day of Action for Rivers 2014 today. Here’s a list of events, and some suggestions for action you can take to help your favorite river flow free. #RiversUniteUs

Via: International Rivers

Via: International Rivers

 

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s