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Ask people to think of a catchment and they tend to think of large geographical areas and extensive communities, for example the Nile River and all the people who work on and around it and benefit from it. As the Nile catchment illustrates, many large catchments extend beyond the boundaries of one nation. For some of the world’s largest river basins, not just two, but many more countries can have some or all of their territory in the basin.
National boundaries dissect catchments. A variety of different land uses and human occupations make diversity the norm of catchment economies and society. Notwithstanding, people’s everyday reliance on the world’s great rivers and their catchments override all else. The water in the basin links all. Without it there is none of what makes a catchment a vibrant ecological and human entity. This reality matters much more than the political boundaries that divide so many catchments
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