Rivers run towards ‘crisis point’

Some of the world’s major rivers are reaching crisis point because of dams, shipping, pollution and climate change, according to the environment group WWF.

Its report, World’s Top 10 Rivers at Risk, says the river “crisis” rivals climate change in importance.

Five of its “top 10” are in Asia, such as the Yangtse, Mekong, and Ganges, though Europe’s Danube and North America’s Rio Grande are also included.

WWF says governments should see water as an issue of national security.

Its report is issued in advance of World Water Day (22 March).

“The world is facing a massive freshwater crisis, which has the potential to be every bit as devastating as climate change,” said Dr David Tickner, head of the freshwater programme at WWF-UK.

“We need business leaders and governments to recognise that climate change is not the only urgent environmental issue that needs to be dealt with, and that they need to take notice of this freshwater emergency and act now, not later.”

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