Before we begin to describe what a river is, let us remember that water is now turning into a luxury. It is thus become an obligation for humans to keep their water sources clean. A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing toward an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. A small river is also known as stream, creek, brook, rivulet, tributary or a rill. There are number of rivers in the world but most of them these days are polluted. But still in this world of pollution and contamination, there are few rivers which are completely clean. So here is a list of five cleanest rivers in the world. Have a look!
1. River Thames
London’s River Thames has come a long way. The Thames was declared as a biologically dead river at one point of time. This was because of the high levels of contamination and pollution present in the water. The situation became so bad that during the 1800’s it was also called as the Great Stink. The people also suffered major health issues including the Cholera Outbreak. This was because people used to drink the water that reached their homes through the Thames Rivers.
In 1857, The Houses of the Parliament took a stand to get things in place. Finally, they came up with a plan in 1865 to clean up the river with the help of Treatment Plants. With the help of these plants, stringent laws and continuous efforts, not only did the River Thames revive but has earned its spot as the cleanest rivers in the world. Even today, there are various challenges that are faced to maintain the river, but the London authorities make it a point to leave no stones unturned.
2. Tara (Drina)
The Tara River falls under the top 5 category of the cleanest rivers in the world. This River is also called the Jewel of Europe or the Tear of Europe. This is a protected river and falls under the World’s Natural Heritage and the World’s Biosphere Reserve as per UNESCO. Tara is also the home to some of the unique Flora species. Some of them have been around since ancient times and have still maintained their primeval qualities.
In 2004, there were plans to build a dam in an area called Buk Bijela located at Drina and flood Tara. The Government had to call off the plans as millions of citizens protested publicly and signed various petitions. Renowned scientists from various parts of the world formed a team and conduct a scientific study about how the plans would impact the environment of the River. The team of comprised of 52 scientists who concluded that it would be an ecological disaster if the Government of Montenegro went ahead with the plans to flood Tara River and build the dam.
3. St. Croix River
The St. Croix River is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is approximately 164 miles (264 km) long, in the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The lower 125 miles (201 km) of the river form the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Apart from being one of the Cleanest rivers in the world; it is also a National Scenic Riverway. This is because it falls under the protection of the National Park Service. A hydroelectric plant at St. Croix Falls supplies power to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
The river has had it’s own shares of challenges. During the 1830’s, the river was clogged with timber logs which polluted the river water. During this time the locals used the rivers to transport the logs as there was no adequate trans or roads. Sawmill owners used to fish out the logs from the water for lumber production. The locals used to walk across the logs from one side to another. They also used the floating timber to their benefit to build log water rafts and travel downstream to St. Louis. Finally in 1915 marked the ending of the sawmill era which in turn helped in the cleaning process of the river automatically.
4. Torne River
The Torne River is a river in northern Sweden and Finland. Approximately half of the river’s length is a part of the border between these two countries. It rises at Lake Torne near the border with Norway and flows generally southeast for a distance of 522 kilometers (324 mi) into the Gulf of Bothnia. It is the largest river in Norrbotten both by laength and by watershed area and is also one of the cleanest rivers in the world.
Near the border with Norway, word has it that the waters of Lake Torne is the main source from where the Torne River. originates. It is fed by Kåppasjåkka and Njuoraätno in the west. Beyond the lake, the Torne rivers flows unhindered by any concentrations of human inhabitants until the village of Kurravaara, around 12 kilometres (7 mi) northeast of Kiruna.
5. Li River (Guangxi)
The Li River originates in the Mao’er Mountains in Xing’an County and flows in the general southern direction through Guilin, Yangshuo and Pingle. In Pingle the Li River merges with two other streams, and continues south as the Gui River, which falls into the Xi Jiang, the western tributary of the Pearl River, in Wuzhou. Green hills flank the 437-kilometer course of the Li and Gui Rivers . Cormorant fishing is often associated with the Lijiang (see bird intelligence). The unusual karst topography hillsides is often compared to those at Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Despite the amazingly clean rivers in the list, the sad fact is that there are more polluted rivers in any given country than there are clean rivers in the entire world. Take the American example. In the USA itself, there are more than 5 endangered or polluted rivers. How can a country be called developed if it cannot take care of its natural resources? Here is a list of the most polluted and endangered rivers in America.
Seven most endangered rivers in America
With the increase in global warming rivers all around the world are drying down. On top of this the waters are getting polluted. Americans had been depending on the rivers for freshwater. Now with the increase in toxicity in the river water, the water is no longer suitable for drinking. Action can be taken to prevent the water from getting polluted. The water is getting polluted and thus the fishes are also dying. The water is getting polluted due to run offs from industries and farms. The neighborhood also contributes to the water pollution by dumping household wastes in the river water. The American rivers are getting endangered. Here is the list of seven rivers which are endangered:
1. Ozark Riverways, Missouri
Over one million people used to enjoy the clean waters and scenic beauty of this river. But, now the quality of the river water is getting hampered due to poor management. There is no check of vehicles crossing the river. The water is getting polluted and if this continues to happen America is going to lose one of its beautiful rivers due to mismanagement.
2. St. Croix River, Wisconsin and Minnesota
Many places of America depend on this river. Now the government is trying to build a bridge over this river. If this happens the water will be polluted by the construction materials. This may also result in floods which can then really cause a problem for many Americans.
3. Black Warrior River, Alabama
The whole of Alabama depends on this river for food and water. The water is getting polluted due to run offs from a coal mine. The run offs from the coal mine is making the water toxic. This can be stopped if the river is managed properly. The polluted water is already causing problems for the people at Alabama. The Black Warrior River has been very useful to the people and if the people can no longer use this water, they would be in deep trouble. The Black Warrior River is considered among the endangered rivers of America.
4. Hoback River, Wyoming
This river is known for its scenic beauty and picturesque landscape. Apart from these, the river is also known for fishing. But, all these wonderful features are under threat due to drilling of natural water. Something should be done before the water becomes toxic and starts affecting human and wildlife. This river is under threat and has become one of the endangered rivers of America.
5. Green River, Washington
The river is located in south-west Washington and runs through mountains. Many communities who live downstream depend on the water of this river. But this may stop happening cause the water has started to get polluted. The water is getting polluted due to a mine present nearby. The run offs from the mine are making the water polluted and unfit for drinking. The government should take actions against this or the water will become unfit for drinking and hence would start affecting people who depend on this water.
6. Yuba River, California
The salmon and steelhead present in this river are becoming smaller and less in number. This is due to presence of two dams that are blocking the areas where these fishes inhabit. If any steps are not taken to pass the fishes, the salmon and steelhead would soon become extinct.
7. Chicago River, Illinois
This is America’s third largest river. People depend on this river for drinking and recreation. Due to excessive dumping of sewage, the water is getting toxic. This puts the health of the people in risk. If the sewage is not treated before dumping then the quality of the water would keep on worsening.
We can only hope that this list does not become longer anyhow. If we take the pledge and dedicate ourselves to the environment, we can again make the earth a healthy place to live in. We have to take the appropriate steps as soon as possible without any sort of further delay.