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Experts discuss water and climate change


Staff writers
March 23, 2012 — Water experts gather in Toronto to discuss how climate change can affect water resources across Canada.


As the climate changes, people can expect implications for Canada's water resources
As the climate changes, people can expect implications for Canada's water resources

EPCOR Utilities Incorporated, with the help of RBC, conducted a recent poll, which revealed how Canadians feel about water and the investment into water infrastructure.

Results showed that Canadians hold water to be the third most important tax investment they can make, behind hospitals and schools. The numbers suggest the growing importance of water infrastructure and the attitude towards water conservation and supply.

Officials say climate change however, can be a contributing factor to water resources across Canada.

"These changing patterns are going to make it so that we don't have as much water as we think we have and we're also not going to have water available to us always when we want it," warns Bob Sandford EPCOR Chair in support of the United Nations.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) hosted a National Water Adaptation to Climate Change Forum this week as an opportunity to share lessons and opportunities for advancing adaptation of water resource management.

Chandra Sharma with the TRCA discusses the implications of climate change
Chandra Sharma with the TRCA discusses the implications of climate change

"There is no doubt that the climate is changing, and water as our most important resource, is in the middle of this," says Chandra Sharma with the TRCA. "As adaptation to water-related climate risks is increasing in importance across Canada, there is a stronger need for locally relevant resources, tools, best practices and policy guidance."

Canada's top water experts were invited to the forum, including the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) Chair, Dr. Gordon McBean.

He says as the climate changes, people can expect major implications for Canada's water resources, the environment and the economy.

One topic Dr. McBean addressed at the forum on Thursday was disaster risk management.

"We need to look at it from our water system's point of view. Where are the parts of the system that are vulnerable to the change in average climate, the change in extreme? What areas would be impacted by it?" said Dr. McBean.

The CFCAS provided knowledge for the development of national adaptation strategies at the forum.

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