Water security in the Canadian prairies: science and management challenges

Howard Wheater, University of Saskatchewan
January 23, 2013 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

The talk will outline the multiple dimensions of water security, illustrated by a case study of the 340,000 km2 Saskatchewan River Basin (SRB) in western Canada. A research agenda will be defined to develop the interdisciplinary science needed to improve understanding of water futures under societal and environmental change, based on the development of the SRB as a large-scale observatory and GEWEX Regional Hydroclimate Project. Non-stationarity poses management issues of decision-making under deep uncertainty and new approaches to decision support are needed. Drawing on current SRB research it will be argued that, while improved understanding of climate futures is required and statistical approaches can provide new insights and downscaling tools, water resource vulnerability analysis is a promising approach to provide useful insights into water security in the face of large uncertainties.

Dr. Howard Wheater is Director of the Global Institute for Water Security, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Water Security and Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability as well as the Department of Civil and Geological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.