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River Rhine Case Study The Rhine is only 775 miles long but its a major artery in Europe It flows through six countries on its way from its source in Switzerland to the North Sea It is heavily populated with 50 million people live along its banks in a number of major cities The Rhineland supports a great deal of industrial plants and is responsible for 10 of the worlds chemical production as well as a variety of other industries including refineries metal works plastic and textile manufacturers No other waterway in the world carries as much traffic as the Rhine Every year the river transports 40 million tons of cargo by barge and ocean-going vessels Its navigable by pleasure boats right up to Rhinefelden in Switzerland The Rhine is under pressure from a variety of sources Find out what these sources are and how they affect the river environment in the areas of pressure section There is a number of ways the river environment is protected Government and local and national bodies all have strategies for looking after the Rhine The strategies and success section outlines some of these strategies and explains how successful theyve been 50 million people live in the Rhine basin most in one of the many major cities situated directly on the river or on one of its major tributaries These cities have grown around the Rhine because of its mass of even flow water a result of winter and spring precipitation and summer melt water The river supports highly developed industry trade agriculture and transport Now humans use 80 of the former floodplain of the river Roads and railways cross the areas behind the protective dykes Urban growth has spread to the fertile river plains The river has also been deepened in parts and meanders have been cut off in order to keep the river navigable The 50 million people who live in the river basin
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