Basically, because it is muddy. Fine-grained mud and silt, suspended in the river water, generally have that light brownish color.
It’s actually not a ‘muddy’ color – the water is stained by tannins. Leaf litter and submerged trees release tannins into the water gradually. The Amazon has blackwater regions, which are particularly tea-colored; some parts of the Amazon are fairly clear, though.
Better answer than mine – thanks.
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