A river’s flow is its heartbeat.
Freshwater plants and animals have evolved with, and intimately depend upon, natural patterns of hydrological variability. Healthy rivers have both an unobstructed linear flow – materials can flow downstream, fish can migrate upstream – and also a lateral flow that allows high waters to spread into floodplains, nourishing the land and recharging water tables. River scientists call this connectivity.
Connectivity enables the flood-recession agriculture and long-distance fish migrations which nourish billions of people across the globe. It also sustains the livelihoods of millions of rural and fisher people in the Mekong, Amazon, Salween and Ganges-Meghna-Brahmaputra river basins, among many others.
Our Work to Ensure River Basin Connectivity
We work to preserve connectivity wherever possible. In heavily-dammed river basins, we advocate for environmental flows, which mimic a river’s natural flow regime as much as possible. We also work to foster transboundary cooperation in river planning, both within countries and across borders, in order to account for the cumulative and transboundary impacts of development. And finally, we support indigenous and river community moments who are leading efforts to enact restoration efforts and permanent river protection legislation.
- Restoring the Klamath: What we’re learning from the largest dam removal project in historyBy: Bruce Shoemaker, Klamath Project Liaison After decades of controversy and campaigning by Indigenous and environmental groups, the largest dam removal project to date world-wide is moving forward in far-northern California…
- Troubled Waters: Mekong’s future remains uncertain as Thailand lights fuse on rapids-blasting projectBy: Pianporn Deetes, Thailand and Myanmar Campaigns Director This article originally appeared in The Nation. As a new year dawns, the waters of the Mekong River remain turbulent with uncertainty. While…
- Working Transboundary: Building Resilience and Democratizing Governance in the Brahmaputra BasinThe Brahmaputra River has repeatedly been the centre ground of diplomatic hostility between China, India and Bangladesh. With no transboundary treaty or common understanding between the countries sharing the river,…