Rivers are part of the hydrological cycle. Water within a river is generally collected from precipitation through a drainage basin from surface runoff and other sources such as groundwater recharge, springs, and the release of stored water in natural ice and snowpacks. Potamology is the scientific study of rivers.
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water.
Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including stream, creek, brook, rivulet, tributary and rill and in our case spruit. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location.
Whatever the size or type of water course, the flora and fauna all have to cope with the same thing: water that flows continuously in one direction. If you live here you need a way to avoid being washed downstream and ultimately into the sea. Plants and animals have to be able to cling on, hide away from the flow or swim against the current.
There are many things that help make waters healthy: natural flows, diverse habitat, and unpolluted waters. Flow, chemistry, biological interactions, sources of energy (food), and habitat are all important. Water resource integrity is more than water quality. It incorporates all essential factors that comprise the character and attributes of watersheds.
The concept of water resource health, or integrity, includes the five major factors of water chemistry. Habitat structure, energy dynamics, biotic interactions, and hydrology (flow regime) and the combination of these factors to produce healthy and sustainable aquatic ecosystems.
Biological indicators are the best and most accurate measure of the health of a river, stream, or lake.
However, other measures, such as chemistry and habitat, are also vital.
Sometimes changes in water quality (chemistry, physical parameters such as temperature and sediments) and habitat changes can come before changes in the biological community and can help be an early warning to the biota.
Water quality and habitat are also used as "diagnostic" indicators to help determine the causes and sources of problems affecting the biota.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
Convenor of the AIKONA Group.
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
Done 141 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.