The Swat River irrigates large areas of Swat District and contributes to the fishing industry of the region. Ayub Bridge is one of the attractions for visitors. The scenery attracts many tourists from all over Pakistan during the summer.
There are two main hydro-electric power projects on canals from the Swat River which generate electricity for local usage.
The Swat River is mentioned in Rig Veda8.19.37 as the Suvastu river.Journal of Indian History by: University of Kerala Dept. of History, University of Allahabad Dept. of Modern Indian History, University of Travancore, University of Kerala, Published by Dept. of Modern Indian History, 1963 page 28 It is said that Alexander the Great crossed the Swat River with part of his army before turning south to subdue the locals at what are now Barikoot and Odegram.