Australian Freshwater Ecosystems, like Global Systems, Suffer Because of Human Activity

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Article courtesy of Tara Martin, Jonathan Rhodes, Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle | May 8th, 2016 | The Conversation | Shared as educational material

Australian freshwater is extremely important as a source of water for humans in more ways than one. Currently, more than 40% of the world’s workforce depends on freshwater meaning that freshwater is an important pillar in the world economy. Because of a series of unfortunate events, freshwater is at high risk of deteriorating due to human activities. Some key threats are dams, agriculture, industry, water extraction, pollution, water flow change, invasive species, and over-harvesting of species. Industrial effluents, unsustainable water extraction, uncontrolled irrigation, and poor decision-making are just some of the factors that have made freshwater sources into what they are now. The degree of human intervention has brought much harm to freshwater ecosystems, as the number of freshwater organisms has decreased by nearly three-quarters over the last forty years. Australian extreme weather is expected to put freshwater biodiversity under more stress in coming years. In particular, the Australian Murray-Darling Basin will be vulnerable to more loss of species. Some conclude that restoring rivers is the best way to combat threats to freshwater sources. Read more about it here: http://bit.ly/1TyuNwv.

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