A river is a flowing stream of fresh water. Rivers flow downhill. They start off as a small stream but get bigger and bigger the further they travel.

Water from a river comes from rain or snow and is usually safe to drink unless it is polluted (dirty).

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Where do rivers start and end?

Rivers begin on high ground like mountains or hills and make their way to larger bodies like oceans, seas or big lakes. 


How do rivers get bigger?

As rivers travel downhill they meet other streams and springs. When they meet, they join together. The smaller stream is called a tributary. Rivers grow by collecting water from many tributaries.


Why are rivers important?

Rivers are home to many animals and plants. They provide food and water for living beings, including humans. 

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Rivers are also used for transportation, to water crops and in some places, they are used to create energy.


Did you know?

  • Rivers are found on every continent.
  • Small rivers often have different names which include creek, stream and brook.
  • The Hudson River in New York was used in 2009 for an emergency plane landing. After being hit by birds the pilot managed to land the plane in the river and everyone survived.