“Rivers are the arteries of our planet; they are lifelines in the truest sense.”
– Mark Angelo
World Rivers Day is celebrated every year on the last Sunday of September. “World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways. It highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness and encourages the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.”
How Rivers are Formed
Mountains and hills tend to slow rain clouds down, squeezing the water from them. These high points usually get more rainfall than the surrounding areas. When rain falls, it has to go somewhere. Gravity causes it to run down the hills. As it runs down the hills and onto the surrounding area, it gathers in an area called a watershed, which is a valley with lots of little streams. The little streams run together to make rivers. Small rivers join to make larger rivers. Finally, a river runs all the way to the ocean or into lakes. Clouds over the ocean and lakes collect water. The water moves onto land and is dumped as rain. The process starts all over again.
source: Easy Science for KIDS
Interesting River Facts
1. 65% of drinking water in the U.S. comes from rivers and streams
2. Most of the world’s major cities are located near the banks of rivers, such as Amsterdam, Bangkok & Berlin
3. The world’s longest river is the Nile River in Africa. Length: 4,132 miles – that’s nearly 1.5x the width of the US, which is only 2,800 miles across!
4. We all belong to a watershed – an area of land that catches all the rain and directs it to a stream, river or lake – a watershed includes the humans, plants and animals who live in it
5. Farmers often build canals and dams to catch water to use for crops
7. During a storm, a river can become so powerful that it can transport over half of the sediment it typically moves in one year
8. The Mississippi River ran backwards for several hours as a result of the New Madrid Earthquakes in Missouri of 1811-1812
9. There are 17 countries with zero rivers, such as Saudi Arabia
So, enjoy your rivers today and everyday!