By Mari-Louise Rowley
Saskatchewan has always been known for its extreme weather and highly variable water supplies. Lately, however, the extremes have become more severe and less predictable.
In 2007, the spring snow melt set records in east central Saskatchewan, while a drought developed in the southwest. August was one of the coldest and wettest on record in parts of the province. Flooding destroyed homes and communities and ruined crops—if the intense heat in July hadn’t already burnt them.
University of Saskatchewan hydrologist John Pomeroy is trying to decipher why this is happening and how we can best cope with the effect of climate change on water resources.
“Saskatchewan agriculture is set up for extremes already, as every farmer has had to deal with drought or floods at various times,” says Pomeroy. “Our interest in climate change is in understanding how it causes these extreme variations in water supply and weather.”
The Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change and director of the U of S Centre for Hydrology says his team’s work will help cities, farmers and industry plan and prepare for the effect of extreme weather on water resources.
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