10 Ways to Protect Rivers from Climate Change and Dams

Healthy rivers are critical for supporting life on Earth. They are especially necessary in light of the additional stresses that climate change will have on river-dependent communities and ecosystems. Watch our Google Earth 3D tour and read our online factsheet to learn more about why damming rivers is the wrong solution to climate change, and then take the 10 steps towards building a more river-conscious community:

  Spread the Word


1. Share the Google Earth video with your friends, families, and coworkers on Facebook and Twitter.

2. Show the video during an International Day of Action for Rivers (March 14) viewing party at your home, school or local community center.

3. Join our NewsStream email list for future action alerts and updates regarding rivers and climate change, and share these with your networks. Join your local climate and/or water community group to protect your local watershed and pass on the importance of healthy rivers for a healthy planet.



4. Find your country's climate delegation to the UNFCCC and send them a letter asking them to ensure that rivers and river-dependent communities are not sacrificed for their climate change targets.

5. Find out how dependent your country is on hydropower, and share your concerns with your country's energy department/ministry, local environmental groups, and local media. Are there any dams whose costs outweigh their current benefits? They might be candidates for decommissioning.

6. Have experience with the Clean Development Mechanism? Share your experience with CDM decision-makers and participants on the CDM Watch Discussion Forum.



7. Calculate your ecological footprint.

8. Reduce inside and outside water use. Install low-flow toilets and showerheads. Take shorter showers. Repair dripping faucets promptly. Install a drip irrigation system, a rainwater harvesting system or grey-water re-use system to water your garden. Use porous paving materials around your house, to help recharge groundwater.

9. Reduce your energy use. Replace outdated appliances with new energy-savings models. Set your thermostat to save energy. Dry your clothes in the sun. Replace light bulbs with energy saving ones  (such as compact fluorescents, which use one-quarter the electricity of standard bulbs). Install a solar water heater at your home. Use fewer electric devices, and unplug electronic equipment when not in use. Weatherstrip and insulate your home. Go deeper with more tips on free/low cost energy saving measures.

10. Go deeper with 20 other ways to cut your ecological footprint.