Importance of Rivers for Humans and Environment

Rivers are the lifeline of our civilizations.

Most of the civilizations were established and flourished near the rivers.

Importance of rivers

  1. Support living and civilizations
  2. For farming and agriculture
  3. Scope of transport
  4. Water storage and energy generation
  5. Enhance the economy.
  6. Support nature.

Support living and civilizations.

  • Most of human civilizations started near the rivers.
  • This is because water is an essential need for living next to air.
importance of rivers
London City at the banks of the River Thames
  • Rivers provide clean and fresh water for all the daily needs of life, like drinking, cooking, washing, cleaning, etc.
  • Hence, whenever people migrated or wanted to establish a new colony, they set it up near a river.

For farming

  • Rivers are major sources of irrigation for agriculture.
  • Unlike rains, rivers enable cropping in the summer season too.
  • That, too, provides an option for the farmer to irrigate the crop as per requirements.
  • The river water is rich in nutrients, elements needed for crop growth. Hence, the crop yield is high and profitable.

Scope of transport

  • Since most towns and villages are situated near river banks, rivers are also used to transport.
  • People travel from one place to another through rivers using boats.
rivers for transport
  • Even in some countries, rivers transport goods as it is less expensive and accessible to remote areas.

Water storage by dams

  • Rivers facilitate the storage of water.
  • This stored water can be used to manage harsh summers and drought conditions.

Enhance the economy.

  • Rivers contribute to the economy in areas that are largely dependent on agriculture.
  • This is the reason why there are conflicts among countries that share rivers.
  • Due to rivers, there is a possibility of more than two crops in a year.
  • This leads to sufficient farm produce, which can be exported and enhance the nation’s financial reserves.
  • Steel, cement, and chemical industries require huge amounts of water.
  • Even such industries can be set up in those areas with access to rivers as they can be provided with sufficient water all around the year.
  • Rivers also provide an option for fishing, a significant income source for fishers.

Rivers also are a significant source of attraction for tourists.

Support nature.

  • Rivers support nature in many ways.
  • They help carry the excess water from lakes, pools, and streams into the sea.
  • They are places of habitat for many types of fish, birds, and other animals.
  • Many forests grow near the rivers, and it leads to green vegetation for other animals to thrive.

For animals

  • Many animals live in the forest, which is closer to some rivers.
  • The presence of a river satisfies the drinking needs and food sources for animals.

Frequently asked questions and answers

Why were rivers important to the development of early civilizations

Rivers are the source of fresh water which is needed for drinking, cooking, sanitation, irrigation for agriculture purposes.
So, water was so essential people settled along the river bank for ease of life and convenience leading to development of civilizations.

Where do river water come from

Rivers get their water from different sources like melting glaciers on mountains, rain water and from the flow of streams.

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