Why are rivers and lakes important

Scientists long ago estimated an estimate that 71% of the earth’s surface is water. Of this 71%, 96.5% is salt water (oceans and seas) and only approximately 3.5% is fresh water (rivers, lakes, groundwater, glaciers,…). However, rivers and lakes are very important for life on our planet, they host some ecosystems and are a source of surface water and food.

The importance of rivers in the world

Rivers represent very important ecosystems on earth. They could be compared to the blood vessels of the body but extrapolated to the Earth, since they are in charge of very important functions that connect different areas of the planet, making them a unit.

Rivers are water courses, generally with low salinity, which is why they are said to be fresh water courses (although they may have a certain level of salinity). Rivers can be originated by the melting of high mountains or by the union of other water courses such as other smaller rivers or streams. Although there are some differences between mountain rivers that are fast, vigorous, and with a high mineral content and plain rivers, which have a higher flow and channel, but slower and more leisurely.

Rivers are places of great importance for the biosphere, as they are a great source of water for living beings and are home to a large number of habitats with high biodiversity , which include organisms such as bacteria, plankton, fungi, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. One of the most varied and mighty river ecosystems on the planet is that of the Amazon . Originally the Amazon RiverIt rises from a high mountain river, called the Marañon River, and ends its journey like a plain river. It has been calculated that the Amazon basin is second only to the oceans in terms of biodiversity and the total number of animals and plants. In addition, many biosphere reserves declared by UNESCO due to their high natural values, develop around important rivers.

Another very important aspect around rivers is their social mission. During ancient times, the main civilizations have settled around the great rivers , and some today also, due to their communication needs (the rivers form great roads) and sources of drinking water and food. Thus, for example, we have Egypt around the Nile River, ancient Mesopotamia around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers or some of the current European capitals that have developed around the Danube.

In summary, rivers are important ecosystems to protect against pollution and other human and natural disturbances.

Lakes , like rivers, are bodies of fresh water, separated from the sea and of great extension. The lakes are also places that are home to great life and really beautiful. The lakes can be more or less dry or with more or less vegetation, but of great importance for animal and human life as well.

The lakes also provide water that we can drink with prior treatment, they are a source of electricity for different equipment and buildings, they provide irrigation water for agriculture and recreational and tourist attractions for leisure and sports activities. In addition, they are a source of microorganisms and habitats for many animal and plant species.

Thus, the importance of lakes lies in the fact that they are a source of life and an economic source and of resources for the place where they develop and that they can also be an inexhaustible source and we put our efforts to keep them in good condition and protect them from dangers. involving human and natural activities.

The main dangers that arise for the conservation of the lakes are pollution from both human sources (use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, spills, …), climatic factors caused by both anthropogenic phenomena that produce climate change and natural and that lead to droughts and desertification of the climate on the planet and the increasing urbanization of the territory. The quality of lake waters can be evaluated with abiotic parameters (pH, nutrient content, …) or biotic (presence of organisms and microorganisms that indicate good or bad water quality).

In short, the disappearance of the lakes would lead to the disappearance of many ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity and economic resources.

The main rivers and lakes of the world

Many people wonder how many rivers there are in the world or how many lakes, but the truth is that it is a very difficult figure to give. However, it is important to know which are the main rivers and lakes around the world .

Main rivers of the planet

  • Nile
  • Amazona
  • Mission Mississippi
  • Yang Tse Kiang
  • Hoang Hoa
  • Congo
  • Amur
  • Liena
  • Niger
  • Mekong
  • Mackenzie
  • Obi
  • Yenisei
  • Voiga

Main lakes of the planet

  • Superior
  • Victoria
  • Mar de Aral
  • Ferret
  • Michigan
  • Tanganyka
  • Baikal
  • Great Bear Lake
  • Nyasa
  • Chad
  • Great Slave Lake
  • One
  • Winnipeg
  • Ontario
  • Ladoga
  • Baljash
  • Maracaibo
  • Onega
  • Eyre
  • Rodolfo
  • Nicaragua
  • Titicaca

Now that you know all this about the importance of rivers and lakes, we encourage you to watch these short and interesting videos about why there is water in rivers if it does not rain and why river water is fresh.

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