Scientists long ago estimated an estimate that 71% of the earth's surface is water. Of this 71%, 96.5% is salt water (oceans and seas) and only approximately 3.5% is fresh water (rivers, lakes, groundwater, glaciers,…). However, rivers and lakes are very important for life on our planet, they host some ecosystems and are a source of surface water and food.
To give you a much better idea of the level of importance to which we refer, in this Green Ecologist article, we talk about why rivers and lakes are important.
The rivers represent very important ecosystems on earth. They could be compared to the blood vessels of the body but extrapolated to the Earth, since they are in charge of very important functions that connect different areas of the planet, making them a unit.
Rivers are water courses, generally with low salinity, which is why they are said to be fresh water courses (although they may have a certain level of salinity). Rivers can be originated by the melting of high mountains or by the union of other water courses such as other smaller rivers or streams. Although there are some differences between the mountain rivers that are fast, vigorous, and with a high mineral content and the plain rivers, which have a greater flow and channel, but slower and more leisurely.
Rivers are places of great importance for the biosphere, as they are a great source of water for living beings and are home to a large amount of habitat with a high biodiversity, which include organisms such as bacteria, plankton, fungi, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. One of the most varied and mighty river ecosystems on the planet is that of the Amazon. In its origin the amazon river It rises from a high mountain river, called the Marañon River, and ends its journey like a plain river. It has been calculated that the Amazon basin is second only to the oceans in terms of biodiversity and the total number of animals and plants. In addition, many biosphere reserves declared by UNESCO due to their high natural values, develop around important rivers.
To better understand how important this is, we recommend reading this other Green Ecologist article on The importance of biodiversity and its care.
Another very important aspect around rivers is their social mission. During ancient times, major civilizations have settled around the great rivers, and some current ones as well, due to their communication needs (the rivers form large roads) and sources of drinking water and food. Thus, for example, we have Egypt around the Nile River, ancient Mesopotamia around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers or some of the current European capitals that have developed around the Danube.
In summary, rivers are important ecosystems to protect against pollution and other human and natural disturbances.
Lakes, like rivers, are bodies of fresh water, separated from the sea and of great extension. The lakes are also places that are home to great life and really beautiful. The lakes can be more or less dry or with more or less vegetation, but of great importance for animal and human life as well.
The lakes also provide water that we can drink with prior treatment, they are a source of electricity for different equipment and buildings, they provide irrigation water for agriculture and recreational and tourist attractions for leisure and sports activities. In addition, they are a source of microorganisms and habitats for many animal and plant species.
A) Yes, the importance of lakes It lies in what they are source of life and source of money and resources for the place where they are developed and which can also be an inexhaustible source and we put our efforts to keep them in good condition and protect them from the dangers posed by human and natural activities.
The main dangers posed to the conservation of lakes are pollution from both human sources (use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, spills, …), climatic factors caused by both anthropogenic phenomena that produce climate change and natural and that lead to droughts and desertification of the climate on the planet and by the increasing urbanization of the territory. The quality of lake waters can be evaluated with abiotic parameters (pH, nutrient content, …) or biotic (presence of organisms and microorganisms that indicate good or bad water quality).
In short, the disappearance of the lakes would lead to the disappearance of many ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity and economic resources.
If you want to know more about how vital these parts of the planet are, we recommend you read this other article on The importance of water for the planet and human beings.
Many people wonder how many rivers there are in the world or how many lakes, but the truth is that it is a very difficult figure to give. However, if it is important to know what are the main rivers and lakes around the world.
Now that you know all this about the importance of rivers and lakes, we encourage you to watch these short and interesting videos about why there is water in rivers if it does not rain and why river water is fresh.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why are rivers and lakes important?We recommend that you enter our Nature Curiosities category.