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A Few Thoughts On Why Rivers Matter

Arkansas_River-graphic

Rivers, like lakes and oceans, can often be {accidentally} taken advantage of and seen as permanent natural structures. We know that the steady flow of clean, fresh water is an essential element for vast ecosystems and the health and survival of millions of people, but their fragility can slip our minds easily. We, though, like to keep our mighty Arkansas River at the forefront of our minds and to educate our guests in the amazing aspects of river life.

The Arkansas River is not only a critical part of Colorado’s vast ecosystem but also to the ecosystems across the southwest. Throughout the course of the river, the total volume transported downstream will often be a combination of the free water flow together with a substantial contribution flowing through sub-surface rocks and gravels that underlie the river and its floodplain. For many rivers in large valleys, like the Arkansas River Valley, this unseen component of flow may greatly exceed the visible flow. The Arkansas River transports more than just rafts and laughing rafters; the mighty Arkansas River is a transporter of sediments that can have a great impact on farming and irrigation downriver, is a rich source of fish, and indirectly aids in cultivation with its supply of water for the crops.

Reasons why rivers are important in America’s economy include:

1. Rivers carry more than water: human civilizations were born in the river valleys, flourished and developed, they carry sediments and minerals which are very useful for us

3. Rivers sustained all types of human activities like hunting gathering, pastoral and farming activities, and with fun activities like fishing, kayaking and rafting.

4. Rivers can provide efficient inland transport for trade and commerce.

5. Their water is extensively used in irrigation and in developing hydroelectricity.

6. They also provide water to reservoirs which are used for fishing and recreational activities.

Rivers have played an important and life-sustaining role in human societies for thousands of years, which is why many of the world’s great cities sit on the bank of a great river.

We love our rivers and we often misuse them. We have used them as a source of water, for food, for transport, for recreation, as defenses, as a source of power to drive machinery, and as a means of disposing of waste. But now, we can take a new generation of outdoor enthusiast into the wild and onto a river with eco-friendly and exploratory adventures that are safe, fun and educational.

To learn more about rivers and the Arkansas River in particular, read more on our website or give us a call. We love talking about our amazing ecosystem and why we work hard to educate our guests, guides and anyone else!