Science Chat #16 | Walking Rivers

Today’s chat brings together people from three continents, who all walk to unite people for rivers; Camila Kuncar, Li An Phoa and Siddharth Agarwal.

Camila Kuncar is a Chilean architect based in Madrid. She works to reconnect people with their environment through unique experiences with rivers and watercourses involving Movement, Knowledge and Action. Camila will share her water, science and culture dissemination project entitled ‘Caminar El Agua’, during which she has walked over 150 km of riverbanks in Madrid with hundreds of citizens, creating a multidisciplinary network of 45 experts who come to walk and share their knowledge about river diversity. With this project, she is also helping public administrations to empower people to participate in the improvement of their environment and surroundings and to be part of the change we need. –

When experiencing the Rupert river in subarctic Canada change from a drinkable river to a polluted river after a dam was built, Li An Phoa realised that once most rivers worldwide were drinkable and that the drinkable rivers are an indicator of healthy living. With her work, she proposes to use drinkable rivers, as a guiding principle for our societies, as a replacement of or in addition to economic growth. During the science chat, she shares her stories about how river walks are her way of connecting citizens, companies, and politicians to work together for the river. –

For the past few years, Siddharth Agarwal has been walking across India along rivers, trying to document and bring stories of marginalised people and the environment into the mainstream. He has walked for over 4000kms along India’s rivers, and through his foundation – Veditum India Foundation – encouraged and enabled other young Indians to also walk along rivers in India. –

During the Science Chat, the question arose whether there are any similar projects in Latin America, so we will start a list here that gives some ideas, per continent, of projects that have a similar approach to the ones discussed in the chat. If you know any other project that should be listed, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Drinkable Rivers (Netherlands)
Caminar el Agua (Spain)

– Siddharth with the Veditum India Foundation (India)

Latin America;
– The Centro de Estudios del Agua, who do river walks and also research, exhibitions, talks, etc. (Chile)