What is the Reason that Rivers are Straightened and what is the Effect on the Environment

Rivers have been the source of many civilization of our planet . The rise and fall of some civilizations can be attributed to the major rivers like Nile, Amazon , and Indus rivers. Rivers have been the source of life for food , transportation and spiritual inspirations. in many cultures .

Rivers have a natural flow of going downhills with the least resistant paths. Rivers have a natural tendency to rise above obstacles and join the other streams, brooks to become large in volume. Some times river s follow natural course to form lakes , sea. Rivers flow into ocean. Brooks , streams are tiny rivers and can dry and die due to climate changes.

Rivers gather water from natural rain, flow of storm water drainage, melting of glaciers and springs also. Water in river runs in stream bed among the banks of river. Flood plains can be flooded by the river during hurricane in USA or monsoon seasons in countries like India.,Bangladesh. Urban activities and housing in flood plains can force the river to be straightened out by the local governments. In Japan people use riverbanks for playing and recreational activities. In some river town communities business thrives around the river and board walk area. Floods are being restricted by altering the course of the river with human intervention.

Dams are also being built for diverting and distributing water between regions . Water is also the source of hydro electric power. Dam is being used to store water and also harvest energy from water. Windmills have been used to grind grains with the help of rivers for centuries in many countries around the world. Human needs take priority over health of the rivers around the world. River flow are being modified to increase the flow of the river.River flow is also being straightened to improve navigation for transportation of goods.

Rivers are also the source of food . Fishing is a common activity for numerous centuries and beyond prehistorical eras.. Wild life like Bears depend on the river flow for catching fishes. Rivers and its flow are critical for many aquatic plants, migrating fishes like Salmon.Salmons return to the location where they spawned originally with the help of the strong flow of rivers. Migratory birds use rivers during their long journey. Many mammals use rivers as well. River engineering can be used to benefit both humans and other species which depend on the natural flow of rivers.

Flooding is the natural part of river cycle. Building levees only helps the area beyond levees . But it creates severe downstream flooding.Habitats and wild life depends on the natural flow of the river. By altering the course of rivers, ecological balance between rivers and birds and wild life activities are being changed as well. Instead of working against the natural flow of rivers , it is possible to work with the natural river flow. Having a healthy balance between human needs and preservation of the natural flow of mighty rivers like Ganges, Amazon, Mississippi, Avon, Danube is necessary for all the species around our blue planet.