The Important Role of Rivers
A lot of people that live in suburban areas and use toxic soaps or chemicals on their cars or home accessories never stop to consider that the water that is being held for public use in most cases can be impacted by chemicals and additives that flow from your backyard into drainage basins and on to your local streams and then rivers. Known collectively as a watershed area, cities that are progressive have begun marking storm drains and street drains that lead to ecologically sensitive areas by painting warnings near them for owners or neighbors to not use ecologically damaging materials that might be swept down the drain.
In ancient times, people did not worry about keeping rivers clean. Man's hold over his own environment was tenuous at best and there were not so many pollutants that were not natural going into rivers anyway. Man was far more concerned with harnessing the power of rivers to irrigate effectively and allow him to travel great distances by boat or barge.
Once either or both of those tasks had been satisfactorily accomplished for each society, there wasn't much more thought given to rivers by people that were not involved in fishing. Some of the earliest attempts to dam rivers occurred in Egypt and the Middle East, helping society improve its ability to control the flow of rivers. As time went on, towns and cities almost always sprang up near Area Rivers. Many towns even grew near the confluence of several rivers that created one large flow. In most cases, as rivers wind their way to a sea or a destination, they often tend to join other rivers or streams in nearby watersheds.
Today, rivers are used for recreation as much as they are used for drinking. People water-ski in rivers, go fishing in rivers, and go swimming and inter-tubing in rivers. Crew teams and dragon boat race participants ply rivers in their lengthy craft, waging tactical war via short skirmishes. Windsurfers utilize winds that come whistling off the canyon walls or gorge walls in order to move upstream or downstream in several rivers.
Kayakers ride swollen rivers along with boaters and white water canoeists.
Part of the thrill for adventurers in rivers is the absolute immersion in the river as someone who is challenging nature. If you have ever been through a white water rapids where there is a drop due to a series of boulders that have caused the river to behave in a certain way, you will probably recall the unpredictable behavior of the water in front of and behind those rocks as you try to navigate past them.
For those that like to white water raft in the river as a hobby, there is a scale that points out different classes of rapids. The higher the class, the scarier and more dangerous the set of rapids. The classes peak at level 5, a rating that very few bodies of water on the planet ever achieve. If you are going white water rafting, you will need a professional guide if the river that you are going to raft on has rapids that are at a level 3 or above.