World Rivers Day – 24 September 2023

With World Rivers Day taking place on the fourth Sunday of September, it’s time to reflect on the significance of rivers.

On 24 September 2023, the best way to celebrate these earthly lifelines is by reducing water pollution and although this can’t be done in one day, starting by raising awareness about ways to restore rivers to pristine form.

Rivers provide us with the ability to generate electricity, water crops, and have potable water. That’s why prosperous cities like Amsterdam, Bangkok, and Berlin were established near rivers.

More than half of the world's largest lakes and reservoirs are drying up, a new study has found. Climate change's increasing temperatures and society's diversion of water have been shrinking the world's lakes by trillions of litres of water a year since the early 1990s. A close examination of nearly 2,000 of the world's largest lakes found they are losing about 21.5 trillion litres a year.

In recent years there has been increasing awareness regarding the amount of plastic finding its way into our oceans. But there is also the problem of plastic waste being found in river systems, which in turn, eventually find its way into the sea.

10 Famous rivers in South Africa

  1. Orange River
    The Gariep, known as the Orange River, is one of the most significant rivers of South Africa. Besides being the longest river in the country, it plays a significant part in irrigation systems of South Africa which makes it an important river. Gariep is Khoekhoe for "river”. Khoekhoe, also spelled Khoikhoi, formerly called Hottentots.
  2. Levubu River
    The Levubo river is a source of water for the Kruger National Park, this makes the river key for tourism as well as the biodiversity of the country.
  3. River Limpopo
    River Limpopo is the second largest river in South Africa. Limpopo is important because its huge basin provides the necessary conditions for growth of forests, the presence of mines around its area adds to the economic value of the river.
  4. Vaal River
    The Vaal river is 1120 km long and a source of water for regions of Johannesburg and Pretoria accommodation.
  5. Nossob River
    Sacred to the KhaKhai people of Northern Cape region, the name literally translates to Black River. It is a dry riverbed in eastern Namibia and the Kalahari. Its high groundwater table provides water for grasses and other vegetation, and its watering holes are visited by animals, especially antelope.
  6. Breede River
    Known as the widest and the most navigable river of the Western Cape, most of the course of this river flows through wine and grape farms, making it an important economic resource for the country.
  7. Umgeni River
    The Umgeni River is the primary source of water for the city of Durban and its harbour, making around 3.5 million people dependent on a single source for their daily needs.
  8. Great Fish River
    The Great Fish River is part of an irrigation project with the Orange River, which is why it is recognised as a significant river. It’s a birder’s paradise with over 245 bird sightings.
  9. Umfolozi River
    The Umfolozi River is important because of the presence of the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve which is a tourist and hunting attraction of South Africa.
  10. Gamtoos River
    The Gamtoos River is the only source of water for the vast expanse of irrigated lands of citrus and tobacco farmland, with the river being criticalmarna for the economy of the Eastern Cape.

There is no substitute for the world’s most vital liquid substance - water. Without it, life is not possible. From the smallest cell to the biggest mammal, water is the driving force that keeps all organisms alive.

World Rivers Day Poster 2023World Rivers Day Poster 2023 (4.19 MB)

World Rivers Day Poster - The Gariep 2023World Rivers Day Poster - The Gariep 2023 (1.58 MB)

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