Water Management,  Water Transportation

River Types

I remember my childhood who often played in the river, where at that time the river was a soothing place with its clear water and coolness.

Once upon a time several great civilizations grew up from the riverside. Today, the river is no longer noticed for several reasons. In fact, rivers have many functions and benefits which, if managed properly, will certainly benefit us. The river can be used optimally if it is adjusted to the river characteristics. For example the type of flow, based on the formation process and even the water stability conditions.

A large flow of water that extends and flows continuously is called a river. The water flows from a place with a high topography to a place that has a low topography. A river is a place where rainwater is temporarily stored before it empties into the ocean. According to the location of the flow, rivers are divided into 3 types, namely: rivers that flow entirely on the surface, rivers that flow entirely below the ground such as limestone and rivers, some flow on the surface and some flow below the surface of the ground.

According to the stability of water conditions, rivers are divided into perennial, intermittent and ephemeral rivers.

  1. Annual river is a river with stable or permanent water conditions. This river always has sufficient water even though it is dry. In the dry season, this type of river relies on groundwater storage (base flow). This river is found in several countries, including: St. Lawrence, Fraser, Mississippi and creeks, Red River, Rio Grande (North America) Orinoco Amazon La Plata, Uruguay River (South America) Rhine, Seine, Rhone, Danube, Volga, Don, Ural, Eibe Dniester (Europe) Lena, Yenisey, Amu Darya, Yangstze Kiang, Hwangho, Sikiang, Ganges, Indus, Euphrates, Tigris (Asia) Nile, Niger, Zaire, Volta (Africa)


  1. An intermittent or episodic river is a river whose water only exists during the rainy season and when the dry season disappears. In the desert it is known as wadi. The intermittent river stops flowing every year or at least twice every five years. These rivers dry up vast arid and semi-arid areas, covering about a third of the earth’s surface.
  2. The ephemeral river is the same river with irrigation that only alternates during the rainy season but during the rainy season the water discharge is not as large as expected. This type of river absolutely depends only on rain. Short river flow for a very short time after heavy rain or snowmelt. Such rivers are generally found in arid and semi-arid regions especially near the tropics. Examples: the Luni and Son rivers (India), the Ugab rivers (Namibia).

It is necessary to know the type of river based on water stability to estimate the water reserves that will be used to meet daily needs. Each type of river certainly has different management methods so that they can still utilize water optimally.

I still feel like playing in the river with my children and grandchildren with a river that is clean and clear like before. All can be realized. Let’s work together.

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