Most rivers and streams run dry every year




The flowing waters of surface rivers and streams efficiently transport sediment, organic material and nutrients, among other things, from hillsides and overland areas to downstream lakes, reservoirs and the ocean. Along the way, rivers and streams (hereafter referred to collectively as streams) provide important resources for our communities and support rich, complex ecosystems. Non-perennial streams, which do not flow year-round, are crucial in this context. However, because non-perennial streams are less reliable sources of surface water than perennial ones, they are less-well studied than their perennial counterparts. Writing in Nature, Messager et al.1 provide a much-needed estimate of the total proportion of the world’s stream network, by length, that is non-perennial — and find that most fall into this category.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Most rivers and streams run dry every year
Series title Nature
DOI 10.1038/d41586-021-01528-4
Volume 594
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Nature Publications
Contributing office(s) Washington Water Science Center
Description 2 p.
First page 335
Last page 336
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