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Impacts of Rivers

Sec 1 Geography, Rivers and the Environment

Source of FOOD


Fishing is the main human activity in some countries along the River Nile e.g. Tanzania and Congo.

Lake Victoria (1 of River Nile's sources) provides fish for its neighbouring countries.


Source of WATER


Water from the rivers are used to water crops.

In areas with little rainfall, water from the river is channelled through man-made canals to supply water to farms. [IRRIGATION]

As more land away from the river banks is needed to grow crops, the Egyptians built a network of canals to channel water from the Nile to irrigate the farmland.


The Egyptians built Aswan High Dam to ensure they have a steady supply of water throughout the year..


Water is used in factories to cool machines and manufacture food products..

Fertile Soil for FARMING

When a river overflows and floods its banks, it deposits the sediments it is carrying on the floodplain.. These sediments are rich in nutrients and provide fertile soil; good for farming.. Every June to October, River Nile floods its banks along the lower course of the river, making the soil fertile for farming. This annual flooding benefits the people of Egypt greatly, and they choose to live along its banks to benefit from the fertile land..


In areas where there are no roads, or land travel is difficult, rivers provide an alternative way of transport.. Rivers were commonly used to transport logs from forests. [LOG DRIVING]. As River Nile flows through many countries, it is an important transport route for the people living along the Nile. While people travel by long narrow boats called feluccas, they also use boats to transport goods such as bricks and sugar cane to the markets..

Provides Hydroelectric Power

Source of RENEWABLE ENERGY. Dams are built across rivers with fast-moving water.. Large volumes of water are trapped behind the dam, creating a resevoir.. The water level behind the dam is raised, creating more potential energy.. The water is released in a controlled manner converting potential energy into kinetic energy to turn turbines.. Turbines are connected to generators which produce electricity..


When it rains heavily,the river may overflow its banks and flood its surrounding land.. Floods can cause serious damage to property and crops..

Recreation & Tourism

Canoeing / kayaking / fishing. White-water rafting. River-side Hotels & Resorts; River cruise. Dragon boat races (Singapore).