• Sustainable inland waterways should meet the needs of navigation without compromising the
    health of riverine ecosystems. Here we propose a hierarchical model to describe sustainable
    development of the Golden Inland Waterways (GIWs) which are characterized by great
    bearing capacity and transport need. Based on datasets from 66 large rivers (basin area >
    100,000 km2) worldwide, we identify 34 GIWs, mostly distributed in Asia, Europe, North
    America, and South America, typically following a three-stage development path from the
    initial, through to the developing and on to the developed stage. For most GIWs, the
    exploitation ratio, defined as the ratio of actual to idealized bearing capacity, should be less
    than 80% due to ecological considerations. Combined with the indices of regional development,
    GIWs exploitation, and riverine ecosystem, we reveal the global diversity and
    evolution of GIWs’ sustainability from 2015 to 2050, which highlights the importance of
    river-specific strategies for waterway exploitation worldwide.

  • “The Key Laboratory of Water and Sediment Sciences, Ministry of Education, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, P. R. China
    Beijing Innovation Center for Engineering Science and Advanced Technology, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, P. R. China”



    Copyright: © The Author(s) 2020.

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