“The challenge upon us is to move climate change adaptation from the undercurrent to the mainstream”Robert Sandford, 2012 UN Water for Life Decade Address
Evidence of climate change over the last century and projections outward across Canada indicate a generally warmer climate with more water overall. These changes in climate will lead to reductions in the extent and duration of snow cover, changes in the timing of peak flows, declines in summer and fall streamflows, declines in glacial cover, reduction in the extent and duration of ice cover on seas, lakes, and rivers, as well as sea level rise. Moreover, evidence indicates that climate change is undermining the notion of stationarity – that the hydrologic cycle fluctuates within an unchanging envelope of variability – meaning that we cannot continue to use past conditions to accurately predict the future.
Given the strong links to climate and importance of water to the health and well-being of Canada, this project sought to offer insights and help increase the resilience of water resources across the country in response to climate change. ESSA worked closely with Toronto and Region Conservation and project partners to achieve these aims. In particular, this work included hosting a national forum for adaptation practitioners, developing an online compendium of knowledge for practitioners, and summarizing the current state of practice in adaptation to identify existing challenges and strategic opportunities for advancing adaptation of water resource management across Canada.