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The Powers of Rivers
This talk will explore some of the many ways in which humans have used rivers over time — and how we continue to do so today. Since our earliest cities were established along the Tigris-Euphrates, Indus, Nile, and Yellow rivers, the anthropogenic use of rivers has changed over time and varied by region. Yet their critical importance has persisted because they provide five fundamental benefits: access, natural capital, territory, well-being, and a means of projecting power. The manifestations of these benefits have changed, but societal demands for them have not.
Laurence C. Smith is the John Atwater and Diana Nelson University Professor of Environmental Studies in the Institute at Brown for Environment & Society (IBES) and the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences (DEEPS) at Brown University.