Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance

Climate change is increasingly affecting the way water moves through the hydrologic cycle and Canada must act on adaptation.

ACT’s Water Governance reports were authored by Bob Sandford, Epcor Chair of the Canadian Partnership Initiative of the UN Water for Life Decade.

Water management in Canada is barely coping with the effects of a changing climate and requires focused attention to address adaptation. Warming temperatures will affect water quality widely in Canada especially in areas dominated by lakes and large rivers. Canada’s Arctic will be particularly affected. In some areas, changes in hydrological patterns will also affect water security, including southern British Columbia and much of the prairies. This does not mean water security issues won’t appear elsewhere.

Climate change is becoming a risk-multiplier that will test fundamental Canadian ideals related to the social contract that promises citizens peace, order and good government. As water is an essential resource in all aspects of life, social, economic and environmental, one of the most crucial ways to adapt to the growing number of negative consequences and costly feedbacks associated with climate change is to manage water effectively.

Serious water conservation measures must be put into place immediately to reduce the risk of water scarcity, and additional measures such as those described in this document’s recommendations need to be considered to ensure that water quality and allocation issues related to reduced supply can be effectively managed.

Related reports