About half of all river miles in the West have been damaged by human development, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of how these waterways are affected by dams, abandoned mines, development in floodplains, irrigation, and other activities. That totals 140,000 river miles—enough to circle the Earth nearly six times. The groundbreaking Disappearing Rivers website is a project from the Center for American Progress and Conservation Science Partners that provides a new tool to measure—at a micro and macro scale—how rivers in 11 Western states have been affected by human use. “Every river and every community is different, but we need to heed the warnings we see in this report about stresses on our rivers – including climate change, development, and abandoned mines,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), who is a leader in the fight to protect public lands and reform the nation’s antiquated 1872 Mining Act. “Everyone in America has a stake in the future of our Western waterways. If we lose our rivers, we lose our heritage, we threaten our economy, and we put major cities and states at risk.” Changes to a river’s flow, whether from dams or other man-made structures, are a serious impediment to water flow in the West. Less than 80 percent of river miles are flowing close to their natural levels, and the length of a river today is reduced by 84 percent from its natural state. To view the full article visit the Center for American Progress.