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  • Waterfront Living

    Mesopotamia, the “land between the rivers” is an obvious place for a civilization because it is located near two sources of water: the Tigris River and the Euphrates River. Ancient Egypt developed along the Nile River. Most people live near water. If you look at any large city, you’ll probably find water nearby. People need the water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and transportation.

    Many cities formed where freshwater rivers meet the ocean. New York City is located where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. In America, New York City has a harbor. A harbor is a place where ships can seek shelter from stormy weather. Chicago grew alongside the point where the Chicago River flows into Lake Michigan. The point where two rivers meet is known as a confluence. St. Louis, Missouri is situated near the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers.

    A few cities are not near a significant source of water. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Tehran, Iran once had sources of water that no longer exist. Johannesburg, South Africa developed after the discovery of gold in 1886. The Chattahoochee River near Atlanta, Georgia is not a significant source of water. Atlanta developed as a trading city because it was the point where two railroads met. Modern technology has made it possible to bring water to very dry places, but for most of history, it was necessary for a city to be near a source of water.


    Download this lesson as Microsoft Word file
    or as an Adobe Acrobat file.
    Listen as Mr. Dowling reads this lesson.

    Mr. Donn has an excellent website that includes a section on Mesopotamia.

    Top ten most populated world cities and the nearest body of water

    Tokyo, Japan Arakawa River
    Tama River
    Pacific Ocean
    Seoul, South Korea Han River
    Mexico City, Mexico Lake Texcoco
    Mumbai, India Ulhas River
    Indian Ocean
    Jakarta, Indonesia Ciliwung River
    Pacific Ocean
    São Paulo, Brazil Tietê River
    Pinheiros River
    Atlantic Ocean
    Delhi, India Yamuna River
    Osaka, Japan Yodo River
    Pacific Ocean
    Shanghai, China Yangtze River
    Pacific Ocean
    Manila, Philippines Pasig River
    Pacific Ocean

    Top ten most populated cities in the United States and the nearest body of water

    New York, New York Hudson River
    Atlantic Ocean
    Los Angeles, California Los Angeles River
    Pacific Ocean
    Chicago, Illinois Chicago River
    Lake Michigan
    Dallas, Texas Trinity River
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Delaware River
    Houston, Texas Buffalo Bayou
    Washington, D.C. Potomac River
    Atlantic Ocean
    Miami, Florida Atlantic Ocean
    Atlanta, Georgia Chattahoochee River
    Boston, Massachusetts Charles River
    Atlantic Ocean
    New York CIty
    New York City is located at the point where the Hudson River flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
    Lakeshore Drive in Chicago
    Some of the most expensive real estate in Chicago along Lakeshore Drive, where the city borders Lake Michigan.
    The fountain in Point State Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    The fountain in Point State Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania marks the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. The waters of the Allegheny and Monongahela form the Ohio River.


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