The United Republic of Tanzania (Tanzania) is rich in freshwater resources and biodiversity. In this article, we highlight the importance of Tanzanian rivers and make a case for the conservation of the freshwater and terrestrial species that rely on these rivers. We provide an overview of current knowledge on Tanzanian rivers and discuss progress towards implementation of the National Water Policy (2002) and Water Management Act (2009), two legislative instruments that have motivated environmental flow assessments on at least six major rivers and offer legal backing for river conservation. We examine major challenges that pose significant threats to water security for river ecosystems and humans in Tanzania, among those: (1) human population growth, (2) agricultural expansion, (3) river flow alterations, (4) industrialization, (5) introduced species, and (6) climate change. We conclude by offering recommendations for future river conservation efforts in Tanzania.
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