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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.