Healthy rivers have the potential to offer a wide range of important benefits to society, but they are often exploited to provide a narrow range of objectives, to the detriment of river health & other human needs. Many social benefits that are derived from rivers are mostly dependent on river health, including its aesthetic and cultural values. Economic benefits (like Hydropower or commercial agriculture) also heavily rely on river health. So, do you want to know how society benefits from healthy rivers? If yes, then do not look anymore as you have already navigated to the right page.
How Society Benefits From Healthy Rivers? – Rivers can actually provide a bunch of essential benefits to societies and humankind — starting from supporting livelihoods to nurturing social relations and contributing to our food, energy, and water supply. Fisheries are one of the most common benefits that are derived from rivers. Healthy river indicators, such as sufficient water quality, connectivity, and flow are essential to ensure a proper fishery productivity. Fisheries support nutrition, livelihoods, spiritual and cultural values, & recreational activities. Fisheries even support food security and poverty reduction.
Needless to mention, the benefits mentioned above are dependent on how the rivers are managed. For example, if a river is exploited for some narrow ranges of objectives, then it may prove to be detrimental to both river health & human needs. Therefore, aesthetic, cultural, and livelihoods are directly dependent on rivers having an overall good health.
Apart from these benefits, a healthy river offers a bunch of economic benefits. For example, economic benefits like commercial farming and Hydropower depend on few aspects of river health, for example, the water flow.
Irrigated agriculture is an excellent benefit that humans derive from rivers. Crops that are grown under irrigated water systems support livelihoods. Irrigation water system for farming can offer an enhanced food security through an increased stability of food supply in areas that are prone to drought, seasonal variability, and natural calamities. This ensures an increased food availability with a better income opportunity for farmers.
Hydropower is another significant benefit that river provides us. Hydropower requires adequate water flows & sediment control. Here, the water quality is not that important. And, Hydropower production can ensure a better energy security by improving its availability.
The Final Verdict: Rivers are utmost essential to our society and human well-being. And, you have already revealed three prime benefits of healthy rivers, such as fisheries, irrigated agriculture, and Hydropower. Obviously, these three benefits largely depend on the river health.