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Disconnected RiversLinking Rivers to Landscapes$
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Ellen Wohl

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300103328

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300103328.001.0001

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Why Should We Care About Rivers?

Why Should We Care About Rivers?

(p.1) Chapter 1 Why Should We Care About Rivers?
Disconnected Rivers

Ellen E. Wohl

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the importance of rivers, and explains why humans should care about them. Rivers provide water to drink, water that helps crops to grow, and the water that fuels or cools industries. Water is a universal solvent and is used at some stage in the manufacture of every product that people consume. Rivers transport wastes, and to some extent transform them. If not for this self-purifying function of rivers, many estuaries and deltas would be even more polluted. Rivers transport goods, generate power, and sustain recreation. The chapter emphasizes that the society which does not protect its rivers destroys its own lifelines. It also reveals that despite the history of public awareness of environmental issues in America, many people remain unaware of how substantially human activities have altered rivers across the nation.

Keywords:   rivers, estuaries, channel bed, riffles, floodplain habitats

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