Importance of Rivers

Rivers have been used for navigation for
thousands of years. The earliest evidence of navigation is found in the Indus
Valley Civilization, which existed in northwestern Pakistan around 3300 BC.
Riverine navigation provides a cheap means of transport, and is still used
extensively on most major rivers of the world. Rivers have been a source of
food since pre-history.
They can provide a rich source of fish and other edible
aquatic life, and are a major source of fresh water, which can be used for
drinking and irrigation. It is therefore no surprise to find most of the major
cities of the world situated on the banks of rivers. Rivers help to determine
the urban form of cities and neighborhoods and their corridors often present
opportunities for urban renewal through the development of foreshore ways such
as River walks. Rivers have been important in determining political boundaries
and defending countries. The coarse sediments, gravel and sand, generated and
moved by rivers are extensively used in construction. In recent decades, there
has been a significant increase in the development of large scale power
generation projects. Rivers also provide an easy means of disposing of
waste-water and, in much of the less developed world, other wastes.