Wednesday, 21 Mar, 2007 Environment

River Drying Up to Lead to Freshwater Crisis


Due to the changes in climate, pollution and bad planning some of the largest and well-known rivers in the world are currently at risk of drying up. An environment group called WWF made a study that pays attention to ten best-known rivers that can dry up in case people won't take certain measures. The report states that indifference towards these rivers might lead to "fresh water emergency."

Among the ten rivers that the report is focused on five are situated in Asia. These include the Yangtze, the Salween and the Ganges. In serious danger are also: Danube, that flows in Europe, African Nile and Rio Grande, flowing in South America.

One of the most important issues that the report focuses on is concerned with the dams and dykes, like the ones along the Danube. The representatives of WWF stated that both dams and dykes were the cause of destruction of the river basin's wetlands and floodplains. About 80 percent was destroyed.

Another problem concerns the extraction of water for agriculture. An notable example of the issue, as showed by the report, is the Indus river, flowing in India. Water over-extraction might cause water scarcity which in its turn is a threat for the freshwater fish populations. These represent an important food source for people around the globe.

The report calls on governments to provide a better protection of rivers and a sustainable water use. In such a way governments will be able to protect the livelihoods of people and the habitat, which is being provided by freshwater sources.

Heading the Freshwater programme of WWF, Dr. David Tickner, outlined the fact that today our world is facing a massive freshwater crisis. This fact, he said, might be as harmful as the change of climate.

Those businesses that deal with food and fibre products use a large amount of water, which is why they must look for a more efficient way to use the vital resource of our planet, said Gr. Tickner.

For a better response to the issue the WWF said that countries should have certain agreements on smart use of water resources. In addition Dr. Ticker stated that the crisis of the freshwater is much bigger than the rivers listed in the report. "It mirrors the extent to which unabated development is jeopardising nature's ability to meet our growing demands." he said.

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