In new research published in Nature, scientists have found that at least 51% of all the rivers in the world are non-perennial – either they stop running or go dry at least one day every year.
These non-perennial rivers don’t receive the same attention as their perennial counterparts. Even if they don’t flow or go dry during the year, they are still rivers and have a huge impact on the environment and the ecosystem, according to scientists.
Almost all rivers have a distributary or channel that stops flowing during some time of the year. In cold regions, the river may freeze during winter, and in warmer regions, they evaporate and dry during summers. It is estimated that almost 70% of all Australian rivers are non-perennial.
According to ecohydrologist Mathis Messager from McGill University in Canada, the non-perennial rivers are precious ecosystems that host many distinct species adapted to the water cycles – presence and absence. In addition to providing critical water and food sources, these rivers play an important role in controlling water quality and replenishing the groundwater.
It would be a mistake to ignore the importance of these rivers. However, most of the time, the conversation laws of these rivers are overlooked, and they are mismanaged or totally excluded from management. Today, many of these non-perennial rivers are unnamed and even missing from the maps.
With a rise in global warming and excessive land usage, many rivers and channels worldwide have already become intermittent.
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