GWF Inaugural Annual Science Meeting

Global Water Futures (GWF) is hosting the inaugural Annual Science Meeting from June 3-6, 2018 at McMaster University and Six Nations of the Grand River.

The primary purpose of the Global Water Futures inaugural Annual Science Meeting is to provide an opportunity for all GWF researchers and affiliated highly qualified personnel to gather and share their scientific findings and other relevant activities and outcomes with GWF community and users/stakeholders. Over 360 researchers, scientists, students, stakeholders, end-users and community members from across Canada and internationally are expected to attend.

For more information, please visit the GWF Inaugural Annual Science Meeting website.

Seminar by Dr. Siqiong Luo

Dr. Siqiong Luo, GWF visiting researcher from the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, CAS, China, will present a seminar on Simulation of soil temperature and moisture conditions on the Tibetan Plateau. 

The Tibetan Plateau is a particularly sensitive region to the globe warming. The soil temperature and moisture conditions and their changes on the Tibetan Plateau will have profound effects on surface energy and water exchanges and leading to further climate change. The aim of this presentation is to discuss the soil temperature and moisture conditions which was simulated by land surface model on the Tibetan Plateau from 1961–2010.

The seminar will take place at 12 pm (CST) on May 30, 2018 in NHRC 1261 (seminar room). This event will also be available via WebEx. Details are as follows:

https://usask.webex.com/ │Attend a Meeting │ 928 292 276

Conference Draws Top Climate Scientists

The CH and Global Institute for Water Security co-hosted the 8th Annual GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Exchanges project) Conference in Canmore, Alberta. With nearly 400 attended from 44 countries including some of the top climate scientists to share research outcomes, projects, and understanding of key global issues arising from Earth’s changing climate. 

An article on this conference was in the Rocky Mountain Outlook – you can read it here: http://www.rmoutlook.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20180517/RMO0801/180519987

Seminar by Dr. Patrick Lloyd-Smith

Please join us for a seminar with Dr. Patrick Lloyd-Smith, Assistant Professor in Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan. The presentation will be on Assessing Ecological Infrastructure Investments in the Panama Canal Watershed. 

Ecosystems are infrastructure that provide beneficial services to people. Changing ecosystems to enhance services are investments that carry a cost. For ecological infrastructure to play a serious role in society’s infrastructure portfolio, ecological infrastructure investment projects must be assessed beforehand and compared to alternative gray infrastructure investments. We illustrate ecological infrastructure is neither a panacea nor pipe dream by merging natural and social science in an application to the Panama Canal Watershed. Ecological infrastructure can play a targeted role in the Panama Canal Watershed, but is unlikely to be price competitive at the scale required to manage water for the canal. Physical and social constraints limit the ability to acquire ecological infrastructure, which is a barrier to scaling up ecological infrastructure.

The seminar takes place on May 22 at 12 pm CST in 1261 NHRC (seminar room).

CH Researcher Raised Concerns Years Before BC Flood

Research by CH Paul Whitfield was featured in The Georgia Straight on flooding in the Kettle and Granby rivers which caused about 3,000 people to evacuate their homes in the Grand Forks, BC area.

A research paper by Paul Whitfield and others back in 1998, Evidence of climate change effects on the hydrology of streams in south-central BC, looked streamflow records from six watersheds in southern BC to identify changes that may be associated with climate change. The study found that “spring runoff starts earlier, late summer–early fall flows are lower, and early winter flows are higher with a warmer climate” and that “These changes were found to be statistically significant and are consistent with the hydrological impacts currently expected with global climate change”.

To read the full article: https://www.straight.com/news/1074481/researchers-raised-concerns-years-ago-about-climate-change-effects-kettle-river

Let’s Talk Climate & Water Science!

The Centre for Hydrology is proud to co-present Let’s Talk Climate & Water Science, a public event where three internationally renowned climate and water scientists will speak about leading-edge studies on climate change and its impact on extreme events and changes to the water cycle. A panel discussion with questions from the audience will follow. This event is free and open to the public.

When: May 5, 2018 | Reception: 6:30 pm | Presentations: 7:00 pm

Where: Canmore Collegiate High School Theatre

For more details, including registering for free tickets: https://lets-talk-science.eventbrite.ca 

Event Poster

 

Seminar by Dr Juan Ignacio Lopez Moreno

Dr Juan Ignacio Lopez Moreno, of the Pyrenean Ecology Institute of CSIC in Jaca, Spain, will present a CH seminar titled Climate Snow and Water Studies in the Pyrenees on Friday 20 April.

The Pyrenees is the largest mountain range in Spain and a good example of how climate and land use changes are affecting the hydrology of mountain headwaters and the water availability of neighbouring lowland areas.

The presentation will provide a summary of the research carried out in the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology to understand and quantify global change processes in mountain areas and its impacts on snowpack, glaciers and water resources.

The seminar will take place at 11am on Friday 20th April, in Room 1261 of the NHRC. It will also be streamed by WebEx.

 

 

High Snowpack Level Won’t Necessarily Lead to Flooding

With snowpacks in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains above to much above average normal (120%-144%), there is a rising concern for flooding as temperatures warm during the spring.

But John Pomeroy states that there isn’t a major concern for flooding – yet. The long-term forecast is still calling for a cooler spring, which means the snow in the mountains will likely melt slower this year. In addition, snowmelt alone has never driven flooding in Calgary and it would take a large rain-on-snow event to cause flooding. “With a changing climate, we can experience unprecedented weather extremes so it is important to stay vigilant, ” says John Pomeroy.

Read more:

 

Water Resources Warnings for Canada from Cape Town

Writing in The Conversation, CH and Global Water Futures Director Dist. Prof. John Pomeroy has discussed the risk of extreme impacts related to water resources – in the form of drought, floods, adverse water quality and wildfires – in Canada.This post offers a synopsis of the article, which is available in full here.

In recent years, rationing has been implemented as a temporary solution to water shortages in several major cities and conurbations across the country. Such measures have yet to attain the extreme constraints currently being experienced in Cape Town, South Africa, but this may only be a matter of time. Where shifting meteorological patterns driven by anthropogenic climate-change diminish snow and rain, shortages are likely to become more intense and frequent, and will translate into increased wildfire risk, poor water-quality, and major impacts on agricultural and ecological systems.

At the other end of the scale, widespread settlement and development along major rivers, together with increasing occurrences of intense or extended rainstorms, has increased the potential for damaging flood events.

In Canada, disruption to the key contributions made by seasonal snowpack and glaciers is a particular cause for concern.

With many hitherto “unusual” weather events increasing in frequency as atmospheric and oceanic warming continues and meteorological systems respond, methods previously applied to gauge the risks of drought and flood are rapidly becoming obsolete.

In the light of such challenges, improvements in water security in Canada could be achieved by:

  1. Improving integration and coordination of water governance, planning and services, by developing national-scale capabilities to forecast floods, droughts, water quality and water supply.
  2. Working to reduce flood damage through more active and integrated river basin water management, calculating future flood risk and restricting development in future flood zones.
  3. Reassessment of infrastructure, and capabilities to manage and store water, in expectation of droughts longer and more severe than any previously experienced.
  4. Managing the cumulative effects of development within watersheds, thereby reducing the contamination of lakes and rivers, so that the water is safe to drink and sustains aquatic ecosystems.

This in turn will depend on moving away from the mosaic of local, regional, provincial and federal authorities which currently manages water governance, and establishing more coordinated, inclusive and effective services within a national water security strategy. The Global Water Futures program seeks to drive progress towards these goals, both nationally and internationally.

Canada Not Immune to Water Shortages

In the wake of a water crisis in Cape Town, Dist. Prof. John Pomeroy talked to CBC News about the rising risk of water shortages in Western Canada. In a country known for its abundance of fresh water, Canadian scientists warn that some communities could face their own water crisis in the not-so-distant future.

Read the CBC article here.

For a more in-depth look at the water risks Canada is facing, read John Pomeroy’s article in the Conversation.