Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Healthy Rivers Build Greater Resilience to Climate Change

Climate
Healthy Rivers Build Greater Resilience to Climate Change

Climate change is bringing more extreme floods and droughts, and large dams can compound the impacts of both. Dam failures, levees that cut off rivers from their floodplains and hydropower projects that lay idle in times of drought reduce the ability of societies to cope with the impacts of a changing climate.

The new reportCivil Society Guide to Healthy Rivers and Climate Resilience, by International Rivers explains how rivers strengthen climate resilience, how large dams increase our vulnerability to climate change and how climate resilience can be integrated into natural resource management and the planning processes for the water and energy sectors. 

Healthy rivers help protect us from the worst vagaries of climate change. Free-flowing rivers build deltas and mangroves that protect coastlines. They sustain fisheries and forests, provide water and support agriculture. Yet the world over, rivers are themselves under threat from climate change and runaway dam building. The combined impacts of global warming and river-altering dams are creating a “perfect storm” for the world's fisheries, forests, wildlife habitats and river-based communities. 

“Dammed rivers are damaged rivers; they are less able to protect us from climate change and more likely to worsen problems when big floods and droughts hit," said Parineeta Dandekar of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People and a contributing author to the report. "We need honest and holistic cost-benefit analysis of dams to account for these climate change risks.”  

“We also need more protected and free-flowing rivers to appreciate the range of services a healthy river can provide,” Dandekar continued.

Developed with the help of a number of partner organizations, the Civil Society Guide to Healthy Rivers and Climate Resilience includes concrete case studies and practical guidance for groups working in the water and energy sectors. It lays out how to help communities facing large dam projects develop adaptation plans that address the risks that dams bring.

“Building greater resilience into our communities begins with clean water, and also by recognizing that Earth’s ‘water cycle’ is broken and in need of repair," said Jason Rainey, executive director of International Rivers. "Restoring river-dependent ecosystems and their services is essential for adapting to the additional pressures caused by a destabilized climate."

"The good news is that rivers are resilient, and they draw us together," Rainey said further. "Communities all over the world have been innovating ground-up solutions to meet water, energy and food security needs. With a concerted effort, we can help restore the health of our rivers so they may continue to provide innumerable local and planetary benefits.”

Visit EcoWatch’s WATER and CLIMATE CHANGE pages for more related news on this topic.

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Sept. 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington comforts Marsha Maus, 75, whose home was destroyed during California's deadly 2018 wildfires, on March 11, 2019 in Agoura Hills, California. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Governor Jay Inslee

Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.

In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.

Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch