The Volga Region, which is also known as the Povolzhye, is an important region forming the Russian Core area, and located on the western part of Russia. The outstanding physical feature gracing this region is the Volga River which stretches from Vidal Hills in the northwest to drain into the Caspian Sea in the south.
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For many years before the 1950s, this region lagged in terms of industrial development, as regions like Ukraine and Moscow eclipsed it (Muller and Nijman 94). As from mid 20th century, the people living in this region decided to modify this sub-region by building canals, e.g., the Volga-Don Canal, which linked the river to the Black Sea. The canal formed an important waterway post-WWII.
This region started developing during the WWII era when people from this region chose to retreat from German armies in the west to central Russia. In effect, this region developed in, industrially, dams and reservoirs were built along the river to help generate electricity and irrigate the land.
Gas was exploited, and cities, e.g., Kazan thrived. However, with these developments, came, with its environmental pollution, which significantly affected aquatic species. Of note, the waterway helped the people le in the region to colonies the eastern part (Muller and Nijman 94).
The people living in this realm then modified this region by constructing canals, dams, and reservoirs. The importance of creating canals was that it served to link the inland waterways. For instance, Volga-Don the Canal forms an important link to the Black Sea. This offers a cheap means of transporting foodstuffs and raw materials from one region to the other.
These people chose this course since the Volga River cuts across a vast area of the region, serving as a cheaper means of transport relative to other means (road and rail). The other canals in northwest Russia (Moscow and Mariinsky) are vital in linking Russia to Western Europe. On the other hand, dams and reservoirs are essential energy sources important in driving industrial development.
These people took advantage of the availability of Volga River, also dubbed the ‘Russian Mississippi,’ to explore hydroelectric power. This is a reliable, cheap and eco-friendly energy source. Solar energy could not be exploited because it is unreliable.
The development of dams and reservoirs on the river course has largely affected aquatic life. These have resulted in the blockage of “such anadromous species as beluga sturgeon and white fish which live in the Caspian Sea but spawn in the Volga River and other inland waterways” (Korotenko 323). Moreover, the populations of fishes (roughly 70 species) living in this river have largely been altered.
Effluents emanating from the local industries, municipal and agriculture have functioned to aggravate the situation. Lastly, the water level in the Caspian Sea has significantly reduced owing to evaporation, irrigation, and diversions, further affecting aquatic life.
The canals, dams, and reservoirs met their intended functions. Today, Volga River accounts for 50% of the entire river shipment in Russia, and the dams, e.g., Uglich are important sources hydroelectric power driving the Russian economy. The reservoirs are vital in minimizing floods and irrigating the land.
Also, Russia was able to colonize the eastern region, which is incorporated in the larger Russian realm. Nonetheless, one unintended effect was water pollution which had an insignificant effect on the intended purpose of modifying the region.
The current appearances of regions are products of deliberate actions of human activities that modify regions for economic purposes. Volga Region is no exception. This region, which was modified in the mid-1950s by the creation of canals and construction of dams and reservoirs met its intended purpose.
To this end, the Volga River accounts for a majority of river freight in Russia and the hydroelectric power generated has spurred industrial growth. However, these modifications have left the aquatic environment in a sorry state.
Korotenko, Advank. “Prediction of the Dispersal of Oil Transport in the Caspian Sea Resulting from a Continuous Release”. Spill Science & Technology Bulletin 6.5 (2000): 323. Print.
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Muller Peter, and Nijman, Jan. The World Today. Concepts and regions in geography. Boston: Allyn, 2000. Print.