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Climate Change and Rivers

Open Rivers contacted Paul Huttner, Chief Meteorologist for Minnesota Public Radio. Huttner writes the Updraft blog and hosts MPR’s weekly Climate Cast. We wanted to learn more about the impact climate change is having on rivers and communities and how discussions about environmental issues and water are changing.

Vibha Galhotra, “365 Days” (2015), 365 drawings made of ink, photocopy, collage and sediment on paper, and 365 glass bottles, 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 1 3/8 in (each framed drawing), 2 3/4 x 1 3/4 diameter (each glass bottle), overall installation dimensions variable (click to enlarge)

Aestheticizing the Reality of a Polluted River

The Yamuna River in India is both highly venerated and also highly polluted. Where it flows through New Delhi, the river is both a site of purification rituals and also the city’s open sewer. This review of the exhibition ABSUR- CITY –PITY DITY explores this paradox. Artwork is included from multiple media; more detail is at the artist’s web site.

A view of St. Paul, with the Wabasha Bridge over the Mississippi River in the foreground. At left is Harriet Island Regional Park and at top right is the Smith Avenue High Bridge. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

St. Paul Mayor, Others Set Clean Mississippi River goals

Mayors from the United States, including several associated with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, were in Paris for the deliberations at COP21. As Mayor of St. Paul Chris Coleman wrote before the trip, “the stakes [connecting climate change to river health] could not be higher”. In Paris, the mayors from the Mississippi River valley found common cause with mayors from other river cities across the world, arguing that river basins merited increased attention as food-producing regions supporting billions of people worldwide.