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Old 10-11-2010, 07:10 AM   #1
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Default Rivers worldwide in peril: society treats symptoms, ignores causes

Rivers worldwide in peril: society treats symptoms, ignores causes
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
September 29, 2010

Rivers worldwide in peril: society treats symptoms, ignores causes
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Dams, agricultural runoff, pesticides, sewage, mercury pollution from coal plants, invasive species, overconsumption, irrigation, erosion from deforestation, wetland destruction, overfishing, aquaculture: it's clear that the world's rivers are facing a barrage of unprecedented impacts from humans, but just how bad is the situation? A new global analysis of the world's rivers is not comforting: the comprehensive report, published in Nature, finds that our waterways are in a deep crisis which bridges the gap between developing nations and the wealthy west. According to the study, while societies spend billions treating the symptoms of widespread river degradation, they are still failing to address the causes, imperiling both human populations and freshwater biodiversity.

"Flowing rivers represent the largest single renewable water resource for humans," says Charles J. Vörösmarty of the City University of New York, an expert on global water resources and co-leader of the international team examining the world's rivers. "What we've discovered is that when you map out these many sources of threat, you see a fully global syndrome of river degradation."

The study found that...
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:11 AM   #2
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Default Global Study Finds Widespread Threats To World's Rivers.

Global Study Finds Widespread Threats To World's Rivers.
Posted October 1 , 2010
Daily Exchange

Daily Exchange
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Reuters adds that "...The authors urged a re-think to safeguard rivers, especially those now less affected in developing nations. The world population is on track to reach 9 billion by 2050 from 6.8 billion now...The authors said that it might take decades to get politicians sufficiently engaged to fix the problems.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:12 AM   #3
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Default Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity

Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity
Nature

Access : Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity : Nature
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Protecting the world’s freshwater resources requires diagnosing threats over a broad range of scales, from global to local. Here we present the first worldwide synthesis to jointly consider human and biodiversity perspectives on water security using a spatial framework that quantifies multiple stressors and accounts for downstream impacts. We find that nearly 80% of the world’s population is exposed to high levels of threat to water security. Massive investment in water technology enables rich nations to offset high stressor levels without remedying their underlying causes, whereas less wealthy nations remain vulnerable. A similar lack of precautionary investment jeopardizes biodiversity, with habitats associated with 65% of continental discharge classified as moderately to highly threatened. The cumulative threat framework offers a tool for prioritizing policy and management responses to this crisis, and underscores the necessity of limiting threats at their source instead of through costly remediation of symptoms in order to assure global water security for both humans and freshwater biodiversity.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:13 AM   #4
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Default UW researcher is co-author of first global study of fresh water, humans

UW researcher is co-author of first global study of fresh water, humans
By Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel
Sept. 29, 2010

World's rivers in crisis, scientists report - JSOnline
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"What made our jaws drop is that some of the highest threat levels in the world are in the United States and Europe," McIntyre said. "Americans tend to think water pollution problems are pretty well under control, but we still face enormous challenges."

"The fundamental chemistry of rivers in much of the U.S. has profoundly changed with agricultural chemicals, stormwater runoff, air pollution, high density of development and other threats," he said.

By investing in drinking water treatment technologies to remove contaminants, U.S. communities are insulating themselves against problems but not fixing causes of those problems or preventing new threats...
http://media.journalinteractive.com/.../RIVERS30G.jpg

Researchers' website: Global Threats to Human Water Security and River Biodiversity
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