Posted on March 14, 2016
No question about it, people need rivers. The need for a source of fresh water, and the use of running water for transport and energy, make rivers super important to people. And that is why most large cities and many smaller cities and towns are located on rivers.
|Not only are most large cities founded on the banks of rivers,|
entire empires have grown up around rivers!
Above, the Ancient Egyptian Empire developed along the
Nile River. Below, the Nile and Cairo, Egypt's capital, today.
|Four European capitals are located on the Danube River:|
Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; Budapest, Hungary; and Belgrade, Serbia.
Okay, people need rivers...
But do rivers need people?
Many rivers in the world have not just been used by people, they've been abused by people!
Some rivers have been dammed up or diverted to irrigation channels or other commercial or private waterways.
Some rivers have been polluted by factories dumping chemicals or hot water directly into them; other rivers have been polluted by run-off of pesticides from fields and lawns.
Dammed, diverted, and polluted rivers need people – because they need us to take action to undo the harm we have done to them!
According to Young People's Trust for the Environment, more than 97% of the Earth's water is salty. Most of the remaining water is frozen in the polar ice caps.
So ALL the fresh liquid water in all the rivers, lakes, underground reservoirs and springs, and even the fresh liquid water in the atmosphere and clouds – all of that crucial fresh liquid water makes up less than 1% of the world's water!
Keeping it clean is pretty important!
The International Rivers website has a map you can use to find Actions for Rivers.
And Create the Good has a useful step-by-step article about how to hold a river clean-up. We've done it – it was very satisfying!
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