World Rivers Day 2012
The World Rivers Day was celebrated on Sunday, September
30, 2012. World Rivers Day strives to increase public awareness of the importance
of our waterways as well as the many threats confronting them. Today many of the
world's rivers facing severe and increasing threats associated with climate change, pollution, and industrial
development. "Rivers are the arteries of our planet and yet many waterways continue
to be impacted by inappropriate practices and inadequate protection,"
says Mark Angelo, Rivers Day Chair and Chair Emeritus of the Rivers Institute at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
Rivers are our lifeline
. .Rivers play a critical role in sustaining the lives of thousands of different species and habitats
worldwide. Despite their importance, rivers and their associated freshwater ecosystems are actually extremely rare. Only 3% of the
world’s water is fresh water, and freshwater ecosystems account for less than 1% of the planet’s total surface area. According to Kevin, “Rivers – and freshwater habitats in general – are
real hotspots of biodiversity. They may only cover 1% of the Earth’s surface, but they support almost 10% of the world’s known species. These
ribbons of life also provide livelihoods and economic benefits to billions of people across the world through what are known as ‘ecosystem
services’ such as fisheries, water filtration or even tourism.”
Rivers of World are in danger
Many of the world’s rivers are in danger,
often due to human development, pollution and climate change. Rivers have also been heavily exploited for
many years from agricultural and industrial pollution, excessive water extraction and
dams, "Rivers should be left in their natural state, not allowing any dams,
hydropower projects or such structures on them. Millions in India depend on rivers for their livelihoods, but there is no protection for them
when their livelihoods are affected by upstream dams and other interventions," said Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP)
Most important rivers in the World
Amazon River :
The Amazon River is the largest river about 3,980 miles (6,400 kilometres) in the world
located in South America. This river is so powerful and so big that there aren’t any points along the
river that can be crossed by a bridge. The river discharge at the mouth
nearly eight trillion gallons of water each day. The Amazon begins in Peru and flows through Brazil where it reaches the Atlantic Ocean.,
Congo River Congo River or the Zaire River is the largest river in Western Central Africa.
The Congo River is the second longest river that flows 2922 miles in Africa.
Orinoco River : The Orinoco River is one of the longest
and the 3rd longest in South America. The river is 1,330 miles long and
flows through Colombia and Venezuela. It begins at the Delgago Chalbaud Mountain. The river dumps into the Atlantic Ocean.
Yangtze River: The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia as well as in China. It
is the 3rd largest river in the world. The river stretches to about 3,964 miles
flowing across the Tibetan Plateau until it reaches the East China Sea near Shanghai. The Yangtze River is known for its flooding.
Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra (ब्रम्हपुत्र) River
River starts in southwestern Tibet, goes through the Himalayas, the Assam Valley, and
then through Bangladesh. The Brahmaputra River is about 1,800 miles long and is mostly used for transportation as well as irrigation. While
the river is navigable, some parts are prone to catastrophic flooding.
Mississippi River: The Mississippi River is the second largest in the U.S. It
is about 3,902 miles (6,275 kilometres) long. It starts at Lake Itasca in Minnesota and
travels all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. The river often have to fear its high tides and
extremely powerful waters.
Yenisey River: The Yenisey River is the biggest river
3,445 miles long that flows into the Arctic Ocean. The river is the 5th largest in the world. The
river flows through Mongolia, the Yenisei Gulf, and then drains in the
center of Siberia. The upper part of the river is subject to floods a swell as rapids.
Parana River: The Parana River is about 2,485 miles long
is the 14th longest river in the world. Most of the river is located in Brazil,
but it also runs through other parts of South America such as Argentina and Paraguay.
Lena River: The Lena River is the 10th longest river in the world about 2,734 miles, flowing through Eastern Siberia.
The river flows northeast and joins with two other rivers and finally flows into the Laptev Sea.
Mekong River: The Mekong River is located in China. It runs through Burma, Thailand,
Yunnan, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The Mekong is the 11th longest river in the
world and the 7th longest in Asia about 2,703 miles long..
Nile river: The Nile river is considered to be the longest river about 4,135 miles (6,650 kilometres) in the
world. The Nile flows north through eastern Africa to where it empties into the
Mediterranean Sea. The name of this imposing river is derived from the
Greek word ‘neilos’, which means ‘river valley’. The Nile is depended on by more than 300 million people for
their water supply and the irrigation of seasonal crops. Reptiles, such
as the Nile crocodile , flourish in the waters of the Nile, while fish, birds and mammals also rely on the river as a source of food and water.
River in India are facing a crisis
The CAG report on Water Pollution (2011-12) has said that India's 14 major, 55 minor and several
hundred small rivers receive millions of litres of untreated sewage, industrial and agricultural wastes. Presently, only about 10% of the
waste water generated is treated while the rest is discharged as it is into our water bodies. "Over 38 years after
enactment of Water Pollution Control Act in 1974, the only noteworthy thing one can say is that the state pollution control boards
(SPCBs) have be formed under it but all have been complete failures and are known as dens of corruption," said Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia.
Thakkar says 'World Rivers Day' is the time to take stock of how we are
treating our rivers and the communities that depend on them. "The scene looks bleak today. Our rivers are so threatened that if they were a
species instead of our life support systems, they would have been declared as endangered, red data book species," says
Thakkar. Dams, hydropower projects, diversions, pollution, floodplains and river
bed encroachment, bad water management practices have all but destroyed rivers and the ecosystem goods and services they provide to millions.
The government has absolutely no effective policy, law or programme for protection of India's rivers,"
said Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia.
The important rivers of India are:
Ganges: Origin - Bhagirathi is about 2525 km long falls in Bay of Benal
Satluj: Origin - Mansarovar Rakas Lakes about 1050 km falls in Chenab
Indus: Origin - Near Mansarovar lake falls in Arabian Sea about 2880 km
Ravi: Orogin - Kullu Hills near Rohtang falls in Chenab about 720 km
Beas: Origin - Near Rohtang Pass falls in Satluj about 470 km
Jhelum: Origin - Verinag in Kashmir falls in Chenab about 725 km
Yamuna: Origin - Yamunotri falls in Ganga about 1375 km
Chambal: Origin - M. P. falls in Yamuna about 1050 km
Ghagra: Origin-: Matsatung Glacier falls in Ganga about 1080 km
Kosi: Origin - Near Gosain Dham Peak falls in Ganga about 730 km
Betwa: Origin - Vindhyanchal Yamuna about 480 km
Son: Origin - Amarkantak falls in Ganga about 780 km
Brahmaputra: Origin - Near Mansarovar Lake falls in Bay of Bengal about 2900 km
Narmada: Origin - Amarkantak falls in Gulf of Khambat about 1057 km
Origin - Betul Distt. in M. P. falls in Gulf of Khambat about 724 km
Mahanadi: Origin - Raipur Distt. in Chhatisgarh falls in Bay of Bengal about 858km
Origin - Aravallis falls in Rann of Kuchchh about 450 km
Ghaggar: Origin - Himalayas Near Fatehabad about 494km
Sabarmati: Origin - Aravallis falls in Gulf of Khambat about 416km
Krishna : Origin - Western Ghats falls in Bay of Bengal about 1327km
Godavari : Origin - Nasik distt. in Maharashtra falls in Bay of Bengal about 1465km
Cauvery: Origin -Brahmair Range of Western Ghats falls in
Bay of Bengal about 805km
Tungabhadra: Origin - Western Ghats falls in Krishna river about 640km