A river has democracy, too. If people respect this democracy, the river will respect people. Otherwise, it will only bring trouble.
Ecosystems and Biodiversity
What if a river were a character in a play? What would the river say if it could speak? How would it roar in anger? How would a river express happiness when it was free to move and flow? How would it show agony when its flow was constrained?
It began one winter morning by the banks of the Brahmaputra in Tezpur, Assam. Enveloped by thick fog, one can’t see where the river ends and the sky begins. The was a muffled silence interrupted by bird calls and the sound of the river. Suddenly, we heard a voice in the distance singing. A break in the fog and out came a small boat with a man in a red sweater rowing and singing. There he was, an elderly fisherman from the fishing village singing a song about the river passed down from mother to son. A song that lives only in his memory and nowhere else now. We met him as he pulled up his boat to the river bank and thus began the journey of Morisika; The Story of the Boatman.
The Martuwarra (Fitzroy River) in Western Australia has sustained Indigenous peoples and their societies for millennia.
Fragmentation of rivers by dam building, loss of aquatic biodiversity and careful attention to dependent local livelihoods are rising global concerns.
River restoration is now a multi-billion-dollar industry globally. However financial investment without the understanding of the real problem that has led to the drying of rivers will not bring in value for money.
Urban planners and architects need to see rural and urban not in silos, but as integrated eco-systems.
The ongoing 20-year drought, with the likelihood that climate change is the cause, has diminished the flow of water in the Colorado River by over 20% with even less water predicted in the future.
Water should bind together and not divide us.
Healthy freshwater ecosystem is essential for human welling
We need to begin narratives about the challenges that the new but degraded local riverine ecology across the India-Nepal border pose. Local communities across the border must come together to co-produce sustainable water solutions.