Q:

What are the uses of the Amazon River?

A:

Quick Answer

The Amazon River and its tributaries are important for local agriculture, for transportation and as a source of hydroelectric power. Unfortunately, the Amazon's economic value is also a leading cause of environmental degradation in the area.

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What are the uses of the Amazon River?
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Full Answer

In Brazil, it is easy for impoverished farmers to gain and maintain rights to agricultural lands simply by living on and using a plot of land for a year and one day. Unfortunately, much of the land surrounding the Amazon is excellent for supporting a tropical forest but only marginal for agriculture. Forest land supports farming for a few years before its fertility degrades and the farmer must move on to clear new land. Fortunately, new systems of crop and livestock rotation offer the promise of better forest stewardship in the future.

For many small, indigenous villages in the Amazon River region, the river and its tributaries are important sources of transport. The forest is so impassable in areas that river travel provides the only access between villages.

More recently, the Amazon is becoming a source of hydroelectric power via the construction of dams. While this is an important source of energy for growing towns and cities, it also brings controversy. Engineers point out that construction of fish ladders provide wildlife with a means of migration, but conservationists note that local people are already feeling the strain of poorer fishing, hunting and gathering in their native home.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long is the Amazon River?

    A:

    The Amazon River is approximately 4,000 miles, or 6,400 kilometers, long. It can get as wide as almost 120 miles, or 190 kilometers, during the rainy season. The river runs through the South American countries of Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.

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  • Q:

    How deep is the Amazon River?

    A:

    The average depth of the Brazil section of the Amazon River is about 150 feet, with maximum depths reaching about 300 feet. In the section of the river between Manacapuru and Óbidos, the depth ranges between 66 and 85 feet.

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  • Q:

    What is the depth of the Amazon River?

    A:

    The depth of the Amazon River ranges between 66 and 300 feet. The measurement depends on location, time of year and flood levels. By including the Pará river estuary as part of the Amazon, scientists have measured depths up to 330 feet.

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  • Q:

    Where does the Amazon River start and end?

    A:

    The Amazon River begins in the Peruvian Andes and flows east until it ends at the Atlantic Ocean. It is the second longest river after the Nile and flows through the countries of Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana and Ecuador.

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