I stumbled upon this phrase here-

Today’s rivers offer us energy, clean water, fisheries, flood and drought protection, recreational opportunities, spiritual outlets and aesthetic value.

I would appreciate if somebody explained the meaning of this phrase beyond this context too.

  • It's not really an established collocation, but the meaning is a place that might encourage one's "spiritual" feelings to come out. There's an allusion to more well-known forms such as a food outlet (a place where food is sold / distributed / given out). But it's not well-paralleled, because spiritual is an adjective, not a noun (and no-one would be keen on calling rivers spirituality outlets). Dec 11 '16 at 19:09
  • See outlet: "2. a means for release or expression of emotion, creative energy, etc"
    – user3169
    Dec 11 '16 at 21:12

a spiritual outlet

is some place which would be considered to be good for one's spirit or soul, where one can feel free from the grind of day-to-day living.

The author is saying rivers allow one's inner feelings (one's spirit or soul) to feel peaceful, calm, soothed, meditative, and "at one with nature".

Rivers can be very beautiful with calming white noise from shallow water running over rocks and boulders. A cooling respite in the summer from the heat of the concrete jungle.

If you've ever seen the movie A River Runs Through It, it is a beautiful illustration of fly fishing in Montana and how meditative it can be.

(source: iacpublishinglabs.com)

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