Freshwater Stories

  • Rewilding the Danube River

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2021
    Last October, specialists released 700 Russian sturgeon into the Danube River in Isaccea, Romania. The restocking project is part of a Danube-wide effort to revive wild sturgeon in the region.
    Hands holding fish
  • Resilient rivers

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2021
    In Cambodia, WWF sets its sights on keeping the lower Mekong River flowing free
    Mangrove roots on riverbank
  • A dam predicament

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2021
    By engaging with decision-makers and key players around the world, WWF works to keep dams from impeding free-flowing rivers while amplifying opportunities for sustainable energy-producing alternatives
    Solar panels in mountain landscape
  • One-third of freshwater fish face extinction and other freshwater fish facts

    February 23, 2021

    Freshwater fish are vital for communities, economies, and ecoystems. But they are under increasing threat and need our help now more than ever.

    School of buffalo fish swim toward underwater camera
  • WWF study finds 509 new dams planned or under construction in protected areas

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2021
    Rivers are more than water; they’re the lifeblood of ecosystems. So when a river’s natural flow is impeded by a dam, biodiversity suffers.
    Winding river from above
  • Crossing Paths

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2020
    As seasonal waters ebb and flow, the movements of elephants and other wildlife follow.
    African elephant facing camera
  • Flow Lines

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2020
    Keeping water flowing for people and wildlife in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area will take action at every level. Here's what WWF is doing for it.
    Aerial photo of three elephants wading through water
  • Mongolia protects millions of acres of freshwater ecosystem

    June 23, 2020

    Twenty-one percent of the country's territory is now protected, including a vital free flowing river

    View from a mountaintop over the Onon River
  • Critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and the world’s most productive freshwater fishery saved from destructive dam

    March 30, 2020

    In a significant step forward for nature and communities that depend on the mighty Mekong River, the Cambodian government has abandoned plans to build the Sambor hydropower dam and has put a 10-year moratorium on any new dams on the Mekong mainstem.

    Aerial river Cambodia (Kampuchea)
  • Working together to build climate change resilience and protect vital water in Guatemala

    In Guatemala, thousands of people call the Teculutan and Pasabien watersheds home. Under the cover of iconic cloud forests, rivers flow down from the mountainous region called the Sierra de Las Minas; providing fresh water for nature and these communities, for drinking, hygiene and sanitation, agriculture, as well as for business operations and so much more.

    Aerial photograph of freshwater sources in the Sierra las de Minas mountain in Guatemala.
  • With access to fresh water, a school garden grows

    February 04, 2020

    In 2009, principal and teacher Marcia Novakc da Silva decided to join forces to start a community rainwater project, led by the organization Incra and supported by WWF. The work is one of  several projects for the recovery of the springs and water supply in region.

    Student waters plant in school garden
  • Finding a delicate balance in the Pantanal

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2020
    The sprawling Pantanal supports a wealth of wildlife, plants, and people. As pressures intensify in this ecosystem, multinational cooperation and a holistic strategy are key to a better way forward.
    South America
  • People of the Pantanal

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2020
    Development within the Pantanal must be managed sustainably. Today, community members across the region are working to conserve this essential landscape and their own way of life.
    Bandeira family
  • Mighty Mangroves

    Mangroves are a vibrant part of coastal wetlands on five continents. Explore some of the most diverse coastal forests around the world.

    A view of mangroves along the coast from the water
  • A new water treatment plant transforms life for a community in the Pantanal

    January 30, 2020

    Before the water treatment facility was built on Margarita Island, the 350 residents of the tiny Paraguayan community drank straight from the Paraguay River. Pollutants, dumped by fishermen, tourists and cargo ships, as well as farms and factories located along the river, made kids sick, and stained their clothes with mud.

    water treatment plant on Isla Margarita, Paraguay, Pantanal
  • Saving the Pantanal

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2020
    In addition to being an environmental jewel, the Pantanal is also a tremendous resource for people. Collaboration is central to keeping the water flowing in the world's largest tropical wetland.
    Flying jabiru
  • For a ranger in the Pantanal, everything is connected

    November 05, 2019

    A day in the life of Carolina Alvarez, as she protects the Pantanal for wildlife and people, includes cleaning trails and monitoring wildlife like anacondas, jaguars, and caiman using camera traps.

    Carolina Alvarez, park ranger at Tres Gigantes Biological Station, a private nature reserve owned and managed by local conservation NGO Guyra Paraguay Alto Paraguay, Paraguay.
  • Meet a group of catfish new to scientists

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2019
    In February, a group of researchers led by Field Museum scientist Lesley de Souza found six new catfish species—all with some pretty funky-looking snouts.
    Pancake catfish
  • A dam threatens wildlife life in the Lower Mekong Delta

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2019
    WWF is advocating that energy investors replace plans for hydropower dams in Cambodia with large-scale solar farms, which are more environmentally friendly and quicker to build.
    Irrawaddy river dolphin in Cambodia
  • Big win: Zambia halts mega dam on a crucial free-flowing river

    June 26, 2019

    In a major boost for communities and wildlife in the Luangwa river valley, the Zambian government halted plans to construct a mega hydropower dam across the river, safeguarding the diverse benefits it provides to people and nature.

    Elephants congregate on the banks of the Luangwa River, Zambia
  • Lower Mura Valley becomes the gateway to the “Amazon of Europe”

    More than 32,000 acres of the Mura River and its crucial floodplains in Austria were declared a “biosphere reserve”—a major step toward conserving one of the richest natural areas in Europe.

    Mura river from above
  • Just one-third of the world's longest rivers remain free-flowing

    May 09, 2019

    Only a little more than one-third of the world’s 246 longest rivers remain free-flowing, drastically reducing the diverse benefits that healthy rivers provide to people and nature everywhere, according to a new study by WWF and partners.

    Free flowing rivers map
  • Tracing the Paraguay River through the world's largest tropical wetland

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2019
    In March, WWF-Brazil led a group of 25 journalists, researchers, and celebrities on a five-day adventure that involved boating, driving, walking along the Paraguay Rivera and through the Pantanal.
    People wading in a river
  • Plans for mega dams put Argentina’s Santa Cruz River—its wildlife, local livelihoods, and Perito Moreno Glacier—at risk

    November 01, 2018

    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.

    Perito Moreno Glacier Nathalie Racheter WW21919