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    Archived pages: 991 . Archive date: 2012-12.

  • Title: Home | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: .. Jump to Navigation.. twitter.. facebook.. Flickr.. RSS.. 中文.. |.. Español.. Português.. Search form.. Search.. Home.. About.. Blogs.. Press Center.. Multimedia.. Contact.. Login.. Rivers in Crisis.. About Rivers.. River Basin Basics.. Rivers Biodiversity.. Rivers Climate Change.. Problems With Big Dams.. Environmental Impacts of Dams.. Economic Impacts of Dams.. Human Impacts of Dams.. Solutions.. Sustainable Water Energy Solutions.. 20 Things You Can Do.. Environmental Flows.. Dam Removal.. Flood Management: The Soft Path.. Strengthening Standards.. The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.. The World Commission on Dams.. Banks And Dam Builders.. Our Work.. Programs.. Africa.. China.. Latin America.. South Asia.. Southeast Asia.. Banks Dam Builders.. Climate Change Rivers.. Campaigns.. Amazônia Viva.. Belo Monte Justice Now.. China s Global Role.. Ethiopia s Dam Boom.. Lessons From Three Gorges Dam.. Patagonia Sin Represas.. Save the Mekong.. Stop Dam Greenwashing.. Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers.. Xayaburi Dam.. Zambezi, River of Life.. Resources.. Learn More.. World Rivers Review.. Publications.. Photos.. FAQ.. Tools For Activists.. Tools For Educators.. The Movement for Rivers Rights.. Rivers for Life.. International Day Of Action For Rivers.. A River Runs Through Us.. Get Involved.. Take Action!.. Campaign Actions.. Get Connected.. International Day of Action for Rivers.. Attend an Event.. Celebrate Rivers on March 14.. Join or Renew Membership.. Other Ways to Give.. Donate.. Individual Membership.. Luna B.. Leopold Legacy Society.. Business for Rivers.. Featured - CREDO Partnership.. Featured - Sungevity Partnership.. Make a Gift.. Your Support Matters.. Help Us Reach Our 2012 Goal.. Stand With River Protectors.. Stop India's Teesta IV Dam.. Dodgy Deals In The Mekong.. Xayaburi Dam Controversy Continues.. Defending Rivers and Rights.. Justice for Victims of Chixoy Massacre.. Risky Climate for the Zambezi.. Report Reveals Climate Risks of Dams.. 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. Previous.. Pause.. Next.. Take Action.. Join the worldwide chorus calling for justice in Brazil by urging a definitive ruling  ...   Dam, which is currently under construction.. Megadams Drown Out Small Victories in the Upper Mekong.. In October, International Rivers paid a visit to several dam sites and affected villages on the Lancang (Upper Mekong) River in Yunnan, China.. Read Part 1 of the two-part blog on what we.. More Blogs →.. Latest News.. BNA: Loan Granted for Amazon Hydro Project, Third Largest in World; Protests Lodged.. The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) has approved a 22.. 5 billion real ($10.. 8 billion) loan to build the Belo Monte dam in the eastern Amazon, prompting human rights and environmental grou.. BNDES Approves Unprecedented Loan for Controversial Amazon Dam.. Brasilia, Brazil: This Monday, the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) announced approval of an unprecedented loan of BRL 22.. 5 billion (approximately US$10.. 8 billion) for.. Finnish Firm Pöyry Defends Role in Approval of Massive Dam in Laos.. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST: The consulting firm that gave Laos a green light for a controversial dam on the Mekong River, despite objections from downstream nations, is defending its role in.. Cross-Border Resource Management: How Do the Nile Countries Fare?.. Countries are struggling to agree over the use of the Nile's water, raising questions about cross-border resource management – and large dams being built in Ethiopia.. More News →.. Facebook.. Twitter.. Mailing lists.. We offer many.. campaign-specific email lists.. to help you stay informed.. NewsStream.. Sign up for urgent campaign actions and NewsStream:.. Video.. Dams on the Zambezi Unprepared for Climate Change.. Protecting rivers and defending the rights of the communities that depend on them.. International Rivers, 2150 Allston Way, Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94704-1378, USA.. Tel: +1 510 848 1155 | Fax: +1 510 848 1008 |.. Email.. Please direct all inquiries, comments, and error reports to our.. contact form.. International Rivers.. is licensed under.. Creative Commons..

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  • Title: About International Rivers | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: Tweet.. About International Rivers.. Since 1985, International Rivers has been at the heart of the global struggle to protect rivers and the rights of communities that depend on them.. We work with an international network of dam-affected people, grassroots organizations, environmentalists, human rights advocates and others who are committed to stopping destructive river projects and promoting better options.. We seek a world where healthy rivers and the rights of local communities are valued and protected.. We envision a world where water and energy needs are met without  ...   lives.. Based in five continents, our staff has expertise in dams, energy and water policy, climate change, and international financial institutions.. We support partner organizations and dam-affected people by providing advice, training and technical assistance, and advocating on their behalf with governments, banks, companies and international agencies.. The focus of our work is in Latin America, Asia and Africa.. More information:.. Learn more about.. how we work.. Review our.. history and accomplishments.. Mission.. How We Work.. History Accomplishments.. Staff.. Board of Directors.. Annual Reports.. Jobs, Internships Volunteer Opportunities..

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  • Title: World Rivers Blog | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: World Rivers Blog.. Blogs are the best way to stay up to date on the work we and our partners are doing to protect rivers and human rights.. Check out our blogs below for more information.. Even better,.. add our blogs to your RSS feed.. , and never miss the latest news.. Want to write a guest blog for us? Contact.. Kate Ross.. Want to read even more blogs? Visit our.. blogger archive to look at posts.. by former International Rivers bloggers.. Kirk Herbertson.. Southeast Asia Policy Coordinator.. The Mekong Feeds Millions.. Human rights and the environment are closely linked.. My work focuses on the ways that the people of Southeast Asia depend on healthy rivers, and the legal rights that exist to protect them.. Recent Posts in Blog.. -.. December 4, 2012.. Xayaburi Dam: A Closer Look at How Laos Got to “Go”.. November 13, 2012.. Days After Xayaburi Gets Green Light, Pöyry Flaunts Project s Corruption.. November 11, 2012.. Malaysia: What to Do When Indigenous Groups Blockade Your Dam.. October 18, 2012.. Hydro Tasmania Washes its Hands of Human Rights Violations in Malaysia.. September 18, 2012.. Monti Aguirre.. Latin America Program Coordinator.. Keep our Rivers Free Flowing.. I work to support local movements for the protection of rivers in Latin America.. November 30, 2012.. Mexican Dam-Affected Communities Have Their Day in Court.. November 9, 2012.. Seeking Justice On Dams and Human Rights in Mexico.. October 30, 2012.. International Court Finds Guatemala Guilty for Rio Negro Massacres.. October 26, 2012.. Stop Violence Against the Ngöbe Indigenous Peoples.. February 7, 2012.. Katy Yan.. China Program Coordinator/Intern Volunteer Coordinator.. Our Rivers Our Rights.. A grassroots movement is critical to protecting rivers and rights.. Through education and advocacy, I work to protect China s rivers and raise awareness around the hidden cost of carbon offsets.. November 28, 2012.. November 27, 2012.. Large-Scale Power Projects Undermine the CDM.. November 21, 2012.. Crunching the Hydro Numbers: 2012 CDM Update.. September 21, 2012.. A Common Story Emerges from China and Ethiopia.. Chuck Johnson.. Digital Administrator.. Listening to the Currents.. Mr.. Johnson provides digital and web administration to the Berkeley office and to our campaign staff in the field.. Before moving to the Bay Area in 2007, he worked for several years on the IT staff.. Songs of a Dam s Diaspora: Nubians Displaced by the Aswan Dam Tell Their Story With Music.. Radio Feature on Hydro Threats to Biodiversity in SE Asia.. October 12, 2012.. We Have to Make a Choice.. September 15, 2011.. Jason Rainey.. Executive Director.. Rivers at the Confluence.. Before joining International Rivers in 2011, Mr.. Rainey served as Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in northern California from 2005-2011, where he built a grassroots.. Reflecting on a Story of Success in 2012.. Indigenous Peoples Days on the Yuba River.. October 9, 2012.. Wrapping Rio.. June 26, 2012.. River Rio+20 Dispatch: Brazil Energy.. June 20, 2012.. River Rio+20 Dispatch: Green Economy.. June 17, 2012.. Berklee Lowrey-Evans.. Patagonia Campaign Social Media Coordinator.. Words are Powerful Creatures.. Sustainable Development for everyone is the only way to ensure a liveable future for the planet and her species.. Healthy rivers are critical for biodiverse ecosystems and vibrant communities.. A Coffeeshop Meeting with Bernardo Reyes and Patrick Lynch.. Hasta la Victoria: La Parota Dam Cancelled.. August 20, 2012.. Can Renewable Energy Save Patagonia’s Rivers?.. August 9, 2012.. Letting the Xingu Run Freely.. June 15, 2012.. Colbún Suspends HidroAysén Transmission Line.. May 31, 2012.. Campaigns Assistant.. For Rivers, Water and Life.. I am continuously astounded by the strength and passion involved in the fight to defend free-flowing rivers and the rights of the communities who depend on them.. These struggles are strengthened.. Community Leader and Defender of the Sogamoso River Disappears.. November 12, 2012.. Support Rights of Manipur Communities Threatened with Forced Relocation.. November 2, 2012.. Festival of Chiles and Resistance in Temaca.. September 7, 2012.. Agua Va! The Fight for Free-Flowing Rivers in Mexico.. July 5, 2012.. Thank You for Helping to Protect World Heritage Rivers.. June 18, 2012.. Peter Bosshard.. Policy Director.. Wet, Wild and Wonky.. As International Rivers Policy Director and before, the coordinator of a  ...   activists.. A healthy river is such a remarkable thing, it gives.. Bay Area Screenings of The New Environmentalists.. World Bank Approves Power Line to Gibe III Dam.. July 12, 2012.. Land Grabs: Trampling Human Rights and Land in Uganda.. March 23, 2012.. When Will Africa See the Light?.. February 17, 2012.. Will Holland Fuel Carbon-Credit Dam Scam?.. December 22, 2011.. Simone Adler.. Policy Program Intern.. Holding the dam industry accountable.. Water is life.. It is essential to protect this resource vital to the health of all people, rivers, and ecosystems.. As the Policy Program Intern, my work focuses on the dam industry’s approach to.. Indigenous Leaders File Corruption Complaint Against Malaysian Dam Builder.. HSAP Ineffective in Corrupt Sarawak Dams.. August 30, 2012.. Malaysia’s Murum Dam Sets Poor Precedents for Best Practice.. Proving Sustainability in the Dam Industry.. July 10, 2012.. Samir Mehta.. South Asia Program Director.. Let the Rivers Flow Freely.. The focus of my work is environmental governance and justice.. While I would love to see all rivers flow freely, a pragmatic approach is to ensure environmental flows in the rivers.. A Journey to Dzongu.. September 5, 2012.. India s Dam Boom: Small Not Always Beautiful.. July 18, 2011.. North India Hydro Boom Leaves Communities High and Dry.. Rudo Sanyanga.. Africa Program Director.. For Africa s Rivers.. Working to protect people from the destructive impacts of large dams and helping communities affected by dams to seek reparations.. Concerns About Kariba Dam’s Stability.. August 17, 2012.. Africa Needs Green Energy, Not Grand Inga.. December 7, 2011.. Vickie Bell.. Development Director.. Supporting the Movement.. Supporters of our movement for healthy rivers and human rights come from all over.. No matter how you re engaged with International Rivers – from signing petitions and participating in.. Rendezvous with Our Bay Area Community.. Innovative Partnerships for the Movement.. July 17, 2012.. Pianporn Deetes.. Thailand Campaign Coordinator.. Based in Bangkok, I work to protect the Mekong River by focusing on Thailand s role as a dam developer and the main intended market for hydroelectricity.. Thai Villagers File Lawsuit on Xayaburi Dam.. August 8, 2012.. Jenny Binstock.. Climate and Communications Intern.. Our Water, Our Future.. I believe that nothing is more important than the fight to create just, sustainable and inclusive futures for people around the world that depend on healthy rivers and ecosystems.. I m a graduate.. Examining Environmental Flows Critical for River Ecosystems in India.. July 25, 2012.. Government Scraps Four Proposed Dams on the Teesta River in India.. July 3, 2012.. Brent Millikan.. Amazon Program Director.. Rivers, Forests and People of the Amazon.. My work at International Rivers focuses on supporting movements of dam-threatened peoples in the Amazon and alternative energy solutions.. Statement by Indigenous Leader on Occupation of the Belo Monte Pimental Dam site.. June 30, 2012.. Stirring up the Streets of Rio.. June 22, 2012.. Update from Rio: Strengthening the Alliance of River Defenders.. June 19, 2012.. On the Road from the Xingu to Rio.. The Next Big Threat to Amazonian Rivers: Dams and Industrial Waterways on the Tapajós.. March 30, 2012.. Grace Mang.. China Program Director.. Monitoring China s Environmental Footprint.. An Australian based out of California, working to strengthen the environmental and social standards of China s overseas dam builders and their global environmental footprint.. My report to the US-China Economic and Security Review Comittee: China at the Tipping Point.. February 3, 2012.. China: 289 Dam Projects in 70 Countries.. November 2, 2011.. A Turning Point for Chinese Dam Builders.. October 14, 2011.. Lessons from Myitsone Dam in Burma.. September 30, 2011.. Aung San Suu Kyi Joins the Campaign to Save the Irrawaddy.. August 11, 2011.. Aviva Imhof.. Campaigns Director.. Watching the River Flow.. I’ve been fighting dams and other ill-conceived infrastructure projects for more than 15 years.. Originally from Australia, I came to Berkeley in 1997 for a one-year stint at International Rivers.. Power on the River: A Short Film.. April 6, 2011.. Devastating Floods Linked to Dam Bursts in Northeast Brazil.. July 6, 2010.. Belo Monte is Not a Done Deal.. April 30, 2010.. Belo Monte Dam: The Pressure is Rising.. April 15, 2010.. The Monstrous Belo Monte Dam.. March 29, 2010..

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  • Title: Press Center | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: Here you will find our current press releases, reports and other resources of particular interest to journalists.. Members of the media may schedule interviews directly with relevant campaigners; our.. experts contact list.. describes areas of expertise and contact information for our campaigns staff.. To see news and media coverage of our issues,.. please visit our.. In The Media.. page.. For more in depth information on particular campaigns.. campaign.. pages.. Additional information resources include:.. Recent news coverage of our issues.. A complete listing of our multimedia resources.. Our images can be found on our Flickr page.. Our YouTube channel includes dozens of videos about the issue of dams, rivers and development.. Learn more about our campaign actions.. If you cannot find who you need  ...   Ahead with Xayaburi Dam.. 2012-11-05.. Thai Communities Protest Xayaburi Dam at the Asia-Europe Summit.. 2012-11-04.. Finland To Investigate Pöyry’s Role in Xayaburi Dam.. 2012-10-30.. Local Alliance Renews Occupation of Belo Monte Dam in Brazil.. 2012-10-09.. Federal Public Prosecutors file lawsuit calling for suspension of São Luiz do Tapajós dam.. 2012-09-26.. Fishermen Paralyze Construction of the Belo Monte Dam.. 2012-09-20.. Dam-Dependent Zambezi Basin Unprepared for Climate Change.. 2012-09-18.. Report.. A Proposed Power Development Plan for Thailand 2012.. 2012-10-12.. 3S Rivers Under Threat.. 2012-10-03.. The Xayaburi Dam: Threatening Food Security in the Mekong.. 2012-09-12.. A Risky Climate for Southern African Hydro.. 2012-09-10.. The Mekong: Grounds of Plenty.. 2012-10-23.. Dams on the Zambezi Unprepared for Climate Change (Video).. 2012-10-18.. The Teesta River: A Photo Journey.. 2012-09-07..

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  • Title: Multimedia | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: Learn more about our work by exploring the audio recordings, videos and maps featured on this website.. We produce a variety of multimedia resources to further our mission of protecting rivers and the rights of communities that depend on them.. All of our work is licensed under the Creative Commons, so you are free to use and redistribute these materials for educational and nonprofit purposes, with attribution to International Rivers.. Find more photos on our.. Flickr photostream.. , and you can view most of our videos on our.. YouTube channel.. We would love for you to pick your favorites and share them with your networks!.. Use the "Resource type" dropdown menu below to filter our multimedia list by type - Audio, Video, or Maps.. Title.. Resource type.. - Any -.. Audio.. Map.. Image.. Map of Dams and Seismicity on the Nu River.. 3 weeks 3 days.. ago.. Map of Dams and Biodiversity on the Nu River.. Tracking Greenwash -  ...   months 17 hours.. Human Banner Organized in Brazil.. 4 months 2 weeks.. Map of Dams in Arunachal Pradesh.. 4 months 3 weeks.. Map of Sikkim Hydroelectric Projects.. Hydro Electric Projects on River Ganga.. 5 months 4 days.. Kosi Basin.. Hydro Electric Projects on Mandakini River.. Major Hydro Projects in Yamuna River Basin.. Ken Betwa River Basin.. Hydro Electric Projects in Ravi River Basin.. Hydro Electric Projects on Indus River.. Hydro Electric Projects in Brahmaputra River Basin.. Hydro Electric Projects in Beas River Basin.. Existing Hydro Electric Projects in Sutlej River Basin.. Hydro Electric Projects in Sutlej River Basin.. Hydro Electric Projects on Jhelum River.. Hydro Electric Projects in Chenab River Basin.. Hydro Electric Projects on the Goriganga River.. Hydel Power Potential Map of Himachal Pradesh.. Map: River Basins of India.. Map of Proposed Dams in the Teesta River Basin.. 5 months 1 week.. Hydro Power Potential Map of Arunachal Pradesh.. Pages.. 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. next ›.. last »..

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  • Title: Contact | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: Please use the form below for general website questions, after you have searched our site for the answers.. If you have specific campaign questions, please contact campaign staff directly via the.. staff page.. Thank you for your interest in International Rivers!.. Your name.. *.. Your e-mail address.. Subject.. Message.. By submitting this form, you accept the.. Mollom privacy policy..

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  • Title: User account | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: User account.. Log in.. Request new password.. Username.. Enter your International Rivers username.. Password.. Enter the password that accompanies your username..

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  • Title: Rivers in Crisis | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: Pak Mun Dam.. Understanding rivers is essential to understanding the 21st Century's planetary crises and the opportunities for unleashing the regenerative capacities of the Living Earth.. Water makes life on Earth possible, and rivers connect the webs of life, drawing together freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments.. Rivers drive critical natural processes that have shaped the evolution of life on Earth, as well as human patterns of civilization.. Rivers that become disconnected – from fertile floodplains, from the ocean, from biotic communities – are compromised in their ability to maintain and generate life.. The.. world’s rivers are in crisis.. , and the drivers of river degradation are numerous.. While pollution in its many forms impairs the quality of our rivers’ waters, dams impact both water quality and the very functionality of rivers, of planetary life cycle processes.. Roughly two-thirds of the world's rivers have suffered harm from the 50,000 large dams that have been built over the past century.. Many of the world's great rivers – such as the Indus, the Colorado, and the Yellow Rivers – no longer reach the ocean,  ...   the world are experiencing a new wave of damming: The Amazon, the Congo, the Mekong are each superlative in their contributions to planetary cycles, biodiversity and human livelihood dependence.. Each of these basins is threatened with audacious and narrow-sighted schemes that will irreversibly disconnect rivers and cost the planet billions in lost ecosystem services.. At International Rivers, we prioritize healthy rivers as the most critical natural component for sustaining life on earth.. As part of a global network of dam-affected and dam-threatened communities, we are guided by the interests of the more than half-billion people impacted by the damming of rivers, and work to stop destructive dams that worsen our planetary crises.. We seize on opportunities to re-channel human and economic development into water, energy, and food production systems that protect and regenerate river health, promote social and ecological resiliency, and bring equity to the economic development process.. [1] Figures according to the.. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.. and the.. IUCN Red List,.. respectively.. Learn more About Rivers and About Dams from the menu to the right.. Frequently Asked Questions.. We All Live Downstream..

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  • Title: About Rivers | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: Godafoss Waterfall, Iceland.. Healthy rivers are the lifelines of our planet.. Rivers and their.. watersheds.. – and the rich variety of.. life.. they sustain – provide.. people.. with water, food, medicines, building materials, land-replenishing silts, and more.. They mitigate floods and droughts, support forests, recharge groundwater supplies, sustain fisheries, and provide byways for travel.. We cannot do without the goods and services that aquatic ecosystems provide, and we cannot replicate them.. Protecting our rivers now is the health insurance policy we all need for a.. climate-challenged future.. A river is much more than flowing.. water.. Its ever-shifting bed and banks, the groundwater below, its surrounding forests, marshes and floodplain are all parts of river.. A river carries not just water, but just as importantly nutrient-rich sediments and dissolved minerals that replenish the land.. The river’s estuary, where fresh water mixes with the ocean’s salt, is one of the most biologically productive parts of the river – and of the planet.. Most of the world’s fish catch comes from species that depend for at least part of their  ...   the planet's.. rivers are in crisis.. , we can take comfort that rivers have a natural ability to self-heal.. Over time, all of the efforts to engineer dynamic, powerful and unpredictable rivers will, inevitably, fail, and the river will have a chance to restore itself.. As Richard Bangs, a former board member of International Rivers, wrote in his book River Gods, “Wild rivers are earth’s renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning.. ” We all win when rivers are allowed to flow freely.. For a visual introduction to dams, rivers and people watch our.. slideshow.. Infographic: What makes a healthy river?.. (The Nature Conservancy).. Anatomy of a River.. (American Rivers).. Rivers in Crisis:.. Mapping project documents threats to rivers.. Special issue of.. on rivers and biodiversity (Dec.. 2011).. Latest additions:.. World Rivers Review: Focus on Biodiversity - December 2011.. Not-So-Muddy Waters Put Millions at Risk.. A World of Hurt.. Rivers and Biodiversity.. Related Information.. Blog post (1).. World Rivers Review (1).. Book page (1)..

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  • Title: River Basin Basics | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: What is a Watershed?.. Buba River, Guinea-Bissau.. Land and water are ecologically linked in a natural system called a catchment, drainage basin, or watershed.. From the smallest droplet to the mightiest river, water works to shape the land, taking with it sediment and dissolved materials that drain to watercourses and, in most cases, eventually to the sea.. So, too, is the river a product of the land it inhabits the type of rock and soil, the shape of the land, the amount of rainfall and type of vegetation are some of the factors that determine the river s shape, size and flow.. We all belong to a watershed (literally, an area of land that catches all the rain and directs it to a stream, river or lake).. A watershed also includes all the humans, plants and animals who live in it, and all the things we have added to it such as buildings and roads.. Everything we do affects our watershed from washing clothes and growing food to mining, commercial farming, and building roads or dams.. The reverse is also true: our watershed affects everything we do, by determining what kinds of plants we can grow, the number and kinds of animals that live there, and how many people and livestock can be sustainably supported by the land.. One important truth about watersheds is that we all live downstream from someone, and upstream from someone else.. Anything dumped on the ground in the watershed can end up in its rivers, lakes or wetlands.. And anything released to the air can come down again, nearby or thousands of miles away.. A watershed s water may be made undrinkable by activities many kilometres away.. To understand the water quality of a stream, one must look at the entire area it drains.. We are all connected through watersheds.. Watersheds do not respect political boundaries, and in fact can encompass several cultural, national and economic boundaries.. What happens in one country s part of the watershed will impact water quality, quantity, or people who depend on it in the countries downstream.. A watershed is a web of life.. The life it supports is interconnected, meaning every creature and plant depends on other creatures and plants in the watershed for sustenance.. If the whole watershed is like our bodies, then rivers are like our veins coursing with life and crucial to sustaining it.. Physical Features.. Because water runs downhill, a watershed usually starts at the top of a hill, mountain or ridge.. Most of a watershed consists of slopes and the river valley.. Water eventually makes its way to a major stream or river, and eventually it joins that of other watersheds and makes its way to seas and oceans.. It may also spend some time underground along the way.. Slopes influence a watershed s drainage pattern.. Very steep slopes make it difficult for rainwater to seep into the ground.. This causes water to run off and increases erosion.. Plant cover is more difficult to establish and infiltration of surface water is reduced on steep slopes.. A watershed s floodplain is the flat area that starts at river s edge and continues to the beginning of surrounding highlands.. Floodplains are a particularly rich zone for biodiversity and agricultural soils.. In many parts of the world, annual flooding of the floodplain is welcomed, as it renews the soil s fertility for farming.. Damming has been especially harmful to floodplains.. The watershed s exposure to the sun affects temperature, evaporation, and transpiration (water used by plants) which in turn affect how we use the land and what will grow there.. Soil moisture is more rapidly lost by evaporation and transpiration on steep slopes facing the sun.. Slopes exposed to the sun usually support different plants than those facing away from the sun.. Orientation with regard to the prevailing winds has similar effects.. Watersheds come in all sizes, and large ones contain many smaller ones.. A typical watershed is a network of smaller rivers or streams called tributaries, which link to each other, and eventually into a bigger river.. Streams can be one of three types, depending on how often they carry water:.. Ephemeral streams.. are small, temporary paths which occur only during a rainstorm or after a flood.. The channels are not defined and vary from storm to storm.. Intermittent streams.. generally flow only during the wet season.. Perennial  ...   also modify and develop the soil.. Plant roots create soil spaces, which help increase a soil s ability to store water.. Rotting leaves from plants add organic matter to soil, which also increases water holding capacity.. Plant debris also slows surface runoff and protects the soil surface from rainfall caused erosion.. Soil depths and moisture holding capacities are usually lower on steep slopes, and plant growth rates are often slower.. Vegetative Cover.. Plant cover benefits a river basin in a number of ways.. The canopy intercepts rain and reduces the force with which it strikes the ground, thereby reducing erosion.. The canopy also reduces wind velocity and therefore wind caused soil loss.. Grasses, shrubs and trees make up the major plant cover types in a catchment, and all are important to catchment management.. When leaves and twigs fall, they decompose and are eventually incorporated into the soil.. Before decomposing, this litter protects the soil surface from rain and evaporation, improves infiltration of water and slows down surface runoff.. Stems and roots lead water into the ground.. Roots open up soil spaces for water retention and drainage, add organic materials to the soil and remove chemicals from the water.. Roots take water and minerals from the soil to the rest of the plant.. These minerals are again consumed or fall back into the soil through leaves and dead plants.. In some cases, through this process plants can remove what would become water pollutants.. Kissimee River, Florida.. An indigenous forest usually includes, in addition to trees in various stages of growth, an understory of shrubs and a low ground cover of forbs (small herbaceous plants) and grasses.. While all plants in a forest have some effect on water, trees are the most important in many ecosystems.. Trees play a major role in catchments in the following ways:.. intricate, wide spreading root systems help hold soil together and prevent erosion;.. deep roots can extract water from a low water table;.. the canopy protects people, animals and crops from sun, wind and rain;.. forests help filter the air;.. trees store carbon, which might otherwise be released into the atmosphere and increase global warming.. Therefore, removing native trees from catchments can have some of the greatest impacts on its ecological health.. People in the Watershed.. People can have a great impact on the health of a watershed, as described above.. Not only do we use more water than other creatures, but we make major changes to river basins individually and collectively some of which are beneficial, and some of which can do serious harm.. In general, we have modified watersheds so much that many no longer perform many of the useful functions that protect and support our communities.. The following scenario describes a typical series of events undertaken by a community, with the unintended result that their watershed can no longer handle flood waters the way it once did:.. Deforestation reduces the soil s ability to hold as much water, greatly increasing runoff into local streams and rivers.. Increased siltation from deforested slopes changes the shape of river bed and banks, which can lead to changes in the flood regime.. Farmers and city planners drain wetlands, thus removing the watershed s natural sponges which absorb run off and rain.. Urbanization leads to paved roads, more buildings and less open space.. The result is a dramatic increase in runoff, since rooftops and paved roads prevent water from infiltrating.. As land pressures increase, more people build permanent structures in the river s floodplain, thus increasing pressure to try to stop floods with dams.. Finally, a dam is built for flood control and other uses, and the watershed is permanently changed.. The floodplain no longer serves the ecological function it once did for the community, and more people move into the most flood prone lands, believing they will be protected from all floods.. The dam reduces the frequency of floods, but does not prevent the biggest, most damaging floods from occurring.. The result: more expensive damages from floods than ever before.. It takes a lot of actions by a lot of people to do this much damage, but unfortunately it is all too common.. The good news is that humans can also be great caretakers of their watersheds but it takes understanding of some basic issues and the will to make a difference.. Individual actions add up to real change..

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  • Title: Rivers and Biodiversity | International Rivers
    Descriptive info: Kihansi Spray Toad: extinct because of a dam.. River systems are the zone of Earth’s highest biological diversity – and also of our most intense human activity.. Freshwater biodiversity is in a state of crisis, a consequence of decades of humans exploiting rivers with large dams, water diversions and pollution.. Freshwater species are even more endangered than those on land.. Large dams harm biological diversity by flooding land, fragmenting habitat, isolating species, interrupting the exchange of nutrients between ecosystems, and cutting off migration routes.. They reduce water and sediment flows to downstream habitat, and change the nature of a river’s estuary, where many of the world’s fish species spawn.. The impacts from dams increase the vulnerability of entire ecosystems to other threats, such as climate change.. The irretrievable loss of the Yangtze River.. baiji.. dolphin to the.. Three Gorges Dam.. or the extinction of a third of all wild salmon runs on dammed rivers throughout  ...   is.. If we don’t protect our biological richness and diversity, we undercut the re-generative capacity of the Earth, we undermine the prospect of life creating the conditions conducive to life.. The huge impact of large dams on biodiversity can be slowed and even reversed.. First, dams proposed for environmental hotspots of biodiversity should stopped, and these rivers.. permanently protected by law.. Rivers rich with migratory species are especially inappropriate for dams and should be deemed off limits.. The planet’s most lethal dams should be.. decommissioned.. And dam planning processes and.. standards.. must be improved: most of the time, we may be aware of only a fraction of the species a watershed holds before damming proceeds.. It’s time for a revolution in how environmental assessments are conducted.. World Rivers Review: Special focus on Biodiversity.. (December 2011).. Artist is Batty for Rivers.. World Heritage Under Threat.. List of Dam-Threatened World Heritage Sites.. Program or Campaign (1).. Resource (1)..

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