The importance of rivers for cities and towns

Let’s start with the basics. What is a river? It is a body of water with current moving in one general direction. It varies in size, with smaller versions of rivers being referred to as streams, creeks, or run. Water in a river flows into a bay or an ocean.

Rivers are important geologically, biologically, historically and culturally. They are vital carriers of water and nutrients to areas all around the earth.

Some of us may not full understand and appreciate how critical rivers are in a city. Otherwise, many of us would not even think to use rivers as a place where one can set up a house above it. Below are some reasons why we should protect our rivers, starting those that are found in our own cities:

Water supply

Water from the rivers is a basic natural resource, essential for various human activities. Rivers provide us with essential water supplies. Dam is built across the river. which supplies water for our consumption. Dam is a barrier made of concrete or rock built across a river to restrict the flow of water.

Water supply

Buhisan Dam was built to address the devastating fires that hit Cebu City and the need for a safe water supply of the Cebuanos. (Source:

Drainage channels

Rivers play a very important part in the water cycle, acting as drainage channels for surface water. Rivers provide an easy means of disposing of waste-water. They also receive, dilute and transport wastes from settlements. Hence, they prove to be biggest cleaners in towns and cities.

With our population growing, we should take care more of the rivers because they serve as drainage channels from canals to the bays or oceans. We should have a clean environment and discipline ourselves by not throwing our garbage in the rivers because they are the pathways that could help prevent flooding.

Drainage channels

Pasig River is a populated river. Government agencies have started cleaning up the polluted Pasig River aimed to mitigate flood in Metro Manila. (Source:

Habitat for wildlife

Rivers are important habitat to many different types of plants and wildlife. Animals in their natural habitat are in their best than being caged or in an aquarium. Having clean rivers will be homes for ducks and different species of fishes. Reeds and other plants grow along the river banks, too.

A populated place doesn’t mean omitting other species natural habitat. We should respect them and always put a place for them. Having healthy and clean rivers is restoring their own habitat. In the process, we have for ourselves a magical scene that will always be there to calm our work-stressed spirits.

Habitat for wildlife

Iloilo River Esplanade wants to be a tourist attraction and a haven for joggers and walkers. (Source:

Travel routes

Rivers provide travel routes for exploration and recreation. Rivers can help in transportation through ferryboats. This can lighter the two major problems – traffic and commuters. This lessens the flow of traffic and divides the passengers commuting in roads.

This also opens new opportunities in transportation, tourist promotions and fishing activities.

Travel routes

The Pasig River Ferry Service, was a water-based transportation that cruised the Pasig River from Barangay Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Intramuros, Manila. (Source:

In this world we don’t have to change anything that’s naturally given, all we have to do is take good care of it. The world is changing, population is growing but this concept should not change our natural environment but instead this is a big challenge for us – humans, individuals of how to live in a changing environment without affecting our natural resources.


(Blog post written by Dendy Rosalina, CIT-U Mass Com Intern)

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One thought on “The importance of rivers for cities and towns

  1. Pingback: Countries With Clean And Healthy Rivers We Could Draw Inspiration From | Mega Cebu Blog

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