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Fresh Water Stories

Perito Moreno Glacier Nathalie Racheter WW21919

Plans for mega dams put Argentina’s Santa Cruz River—its wildlife, local livelihoods, and Perito Moreno Glacier—at risk

A pair of mega dams in construction on the Santa Cruz river’s banks could flood more than 135 square miles of the surrounding region--an area almost twice as big as Buenos Aires--and transform Argentina’s last free-flowing glacial river into a series of brackish pools.

  • An 83% decline of freshwater animals underscores the need to keep rivers connected and flowing

    October 30, 2018

    This year’s Living Planet Report shows that populations of animals—including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians—plummeted by 60% between 1970 and 2014. But those living in freshwater are experiencing a far more drastic decline: 83% since 1970.

    water vole Terry Whittaker WW24406
  • 5 amazing animals that live in the Pantanal—and need our help

    Nestled in the heart of South America, the Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland. Discover just a few of the native species that live in this incredible place.
    Jaguar in the Pantanal
  • Fresh Water Collection System
  • An important win for the world's largest tropical wetland

    March 22, 2018

    Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay signed an unprecedented declaration that calls for sustainable development of the Pantanal, a 42-million-acre wetland that touches each country. The decision follows years of collaboration among the governments that are securing a prosperous future for one of the most biologically rich ecosystems on the planet.

    The Pantanal from above
  • Dams planned along the Mura River would devastate the “Amazon of Europe”

    February 05, 2018

    The Mura river—a relatively connected stretch of water that serves as one of the last refuges for wildlife and rare fish like otters and the Danube salmon—is at significant risk of dam development.

    Mura river from above
  • 5 interesting facts about the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland

    January 31, 2018

    At more than 42 million acres, the Pantanal is the largest tropical wetland— and one of the most pristine—in the world.

    Pantanal at sunset
  • Current status

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    WWF offices in Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia coordinated a tri-national effort to tag and study river dolphins, applying satellite GPS technology to the task for the first time.
    riverdolphin 01 spring2018
  • Indus river dolphin numbers on the rise with the help of local communities

    December 21, 2017

    A new WWF survey says there are now an estimated 1,816 Indus river in Pakistan—50% more than the 1,200 dolphins estimated after an initial census in 2001 when the species appeared to be on the brink of extinction.

    Indus River dolphin pops out of water
  • Celebrating the biggest conservation wins of 2017

    December 13, 2017

    As 2017 comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to highlight some of our biggest conservation successes of the year. And we couldn’t have done it without your support.

    Myanmar Elephant Restricted Campaign
  • Creating a future for healthy forests in Bhutan

    November 11, 2017

    Bhutan now has a great means for bringing that commitment to life—long-term funding to ensure its protected areas, which cover half of the country, are properly managed forever. It is the first initiative of its kind in Asia and one of only a few in the world.

    Bhutanese mountains in sunset
  • Ebb and Flow: A farmer stays in tune with Zambia's Luangwa River

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2017
    The Luangwa is one of the most intact major river systems in Africa, and the foundation for all life in the valley. WWF is working to keep the Luangwa healthy and free-flowing for people and nature.
    Simon Mwanza winter 2017
  • Rebirth along China's Yangtze River

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    Without direct intervention, the Yangtze finless porpoise may face extinction. But that reckoning is up against an even more powerful force: unyielding economic development.
    A ferry captain looks for signs of the Yangtze finless porpoise on the Tian-E-Zhou oxbow lake near Yueyang, China
  • What is a wetland? And 8 other wetland facts

    July 18, 2017

    Wetlands are often undervalued. Between 300 million and 400 million people live close to—and depend on—wetlands. Learn more about these important habitats WWF is working to conserve. 

    De Hoop wetland
  • In the US, manatees get a change in status

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    US Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced manatees had been downlisted from Endangered to Threatened on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.
    Manatee beneath a river surface
  • Close to Home: A river otter swims an iconic English stream

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    WWF is working with partners to not only restore the United Kingdom’s rivers and wildlife to a healthy state, but to protect them—and the otters and others who depend on them—from challenges to come.
    River Otter Magazine Fall 2017
  • A River Runs Through

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    Explore a global WWF project that's combining big partnerships with bigger data to map and protect the world's last free-flowing rivers.
    Satellite image of Luangwa River
  • Learn how to help recharge your local water source

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    Whether we’re washing clothes or watering the lawn, all the water we use in our homes is drawn from a nearby lake, river, reservoir, or aquifer. Together, we can help protect this vital resource.
    takeaway rain graphic fall2017
  • Climate change's impact on California wine

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    California is a global winemaking powerhouse. But extreme weather—from droughts to floods, all driven by climate change—could threaten that productivity.
    a vineyard in California
  • Shambhu Paudel fills the gaps in river dolphin research

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    Shambhu Paudel noticed that the research on freshwater species in his home country of Nepal was extremely limited. So, with help WWF's Russel E. Train Education for Nature Program, he's changing that.
    ganges fall2017
  • A role-playing game teaches participants about river basin management

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    If you’ve ever gotten together with friends to play Risk or Settlers of Catan, you know the appeal of a strategy board game.
    People play Get the Grade
  • Water for All

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    All life depends on water. Learn how WWF is helping to secure global freshwater resources for people and a living planet.
    Wave illustration
  • Protecting wildlife corridors in India's Kaziranga National Park

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    As monsoon rains roll in, wildlife in India’s Kaziranga National Park begins to lumber toward higher ground beyond the protected area’s southern border. WWF works to preserve these vital corridors.
    river fishing india
  • Protecting water could mean advancing peace & prosperity

    June 27, 2017

    Many people may not know that access to fresh water around the globe can have big impacts here in the US. This week, WWF released a new book entitled Water, Security and U.S. Foreign Policy, exploring how access to water affects US national security and prosperity and how the US can respond effectively. We sat down with two WWF experts to provide some background on this link between fresh water and national security.

    River Ganga, Rishikesh, India
  • Researchers use drones to count river dolphins in Brazil

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    On a river in Brazil, a quadcopter drone whirred over the water, transmitting a stream of images to a computer. Researchers and the small aircraft had the same job: spotting river dolphins.
    Dolphin Magazine Summer2017