Rivers Should Flow Free

This mapping interface provides a viewer of the results from the journal article entitled: "Assessing global river connectivity to map the worlds remaining free-flowing rivers" (Grill et al. 2018, under review). 

Rivers Should Flow Free

We’re losing the world’s largest free-flowing rivers. Only about 1/3 of the world’s rivers over 1000km and less than 1/2 of rivers over 500km remain free-flowing.

Hydropower is booming. There are over 20,100 existing dams, and thousands more are planned. Science-based, basin-level plans can minimize negative impacts and maximize energy and economic returns.

In some places, removing an outdated infrastructure project or restoring a critical stretch of a river can reconnect a vast network and put significant free-flowing rivers back on the map.

Only a handful of the world’s rivers still run freely from their source to the sea, and most of them are critical to food security. Healthy, connected rivers are necessary for migratory fish species, floodplain and agriculture.

The tropics and the Arctic are the final frontiers for free-flowing rivers. These are refugees for free-flowing rivers and can embrace the unique cultural, environmental and sustainable development opportunities this offers.

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