Experts explore future of Columbia Basin glaciers

from Revelstoke Times Review
A distinguished panel of glacier scientists was in Golden on Feb. 1 week to present information about the state of water reserves in the Columbia Basin, and to discuss the impacts of shrinking water supply.
Kindy Gosal, Director of Water and Environment for Columbia Basin Trust, said the evening was intended to be an information session for the citizens of the area about glacial recession.
“I think it’s important information to fill in the knowledge gap that people have in this basin about what’s going to happen for the future of water supply in the face of climate change and the recession of our glaciers,” said Gosal.
“The reason we need this information is because those glaciers are our banks and reserves of water. And really, we don’t have a good idea what’s happened to those bank accounts of water and what the future impacts might be as those bank accounts become depleted, or how fast we’re depleting their funds.”
Speaking at the event, Brian Menounos, from University of Northern British Columbia, commented on the potential political ramifications of this research. Part of this involves striking a balance between the electricity and water needs of the people in the Columbia Basin, southern British Columbia, and exports to the United States.
“One of the reasons we are studying these glaciers – and this is also why BC Hydro finds this interesting – people are going to consider the renegotiation of the Columbia Basin Treaty. When it was actually first set, at the turn of the last century, people assumed the glaciers were at their extent, that climate was more or less stable. We know that is not the case now. So we have to have a better understanding of how those glaciers have changed and how surface flows have changed.”
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