‘Unprecedented’ temperature changes, low water levels, and extreme weather conditions in 2010 are inducing demands for more extensive infrastructure planning in the north of Canada.

Groups such as Ecology North are encouraging community and government decision-makers to spend more time and money on designing buildings and roadways that are adapted to these changes in climate.

ACT’s 2009 report on Climate Change Adaptation and Extreme Weather echoes these concerns, stating that “the reliability of infrastructure systems and the continuity of the services they support are essential for the health and safety of community residents and for the social and economic activities they engage in.”

The ACT report suggests that by reducing exposure and sensitivity of critical services (e.g., transmission structures), and by increasing adaptive capacity through a long-term, risk-management, multi-stakeholder planning team, communities will be better prepared to be self-sufficient during uncontrollable climate events.

ACT also recognizes, in the face of these changing climate conditions, the need for sustainably-managed fresh water resources.

Therefore, in early 2011 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, ACT will hold the third and final session of its pan-Canada roundtables on Water. The aim of these sessions is to consider current and projected climate change impacts on water supply, and ways to manage the resulting challenges through decision-making and policy.