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Dried Riverbeds Anyone?

Posted by feww on July 18, 2009

Image of the Day: Dried-up riverbed, Gansu Province, China

A local resident walks on a dried-up riverbed at Huangyangchuan reservoir in Lanzhou, Gansu province July 16, 200
9. REUTERS/China Daily. Image includes NO state secrets, but may be subject to copyright.

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2 Responses to “Dried Riverbeds Anyone?”

  1. Stephen Klaber said

    Most of the rivers and lakes we are losing are not just drying up. They are being sucked dry and silted up by aquatic weeds. Typha, Phragmites and Papyrus can completely kill a whole system. Water hyacinth and lettuce are nearly as bad, but tend to die off with the first real dry out. Look at Africa’s Lake Chad and Lake Jipe. The Typha Australis infestation in Lake Chad is what is driving the expansion of the Sahel. Many are the rivers in Africa that are now bone dry. Aquatic weeds on a water body more than quadruple the water loss to evapotranspiration. They produce copious silt that raises a stream or lake bed too high for viability. Just about everything we do to a stream gives them an advantage. The clearance of aquatic weeds is a requirement for fixing our climate. Their resilience makes their clearance a never ending task, which can be financed by their value as biofuel feedstock.

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