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Climate Change and Water

Water Matters monitors the impacts of climate change on water resources encouraging decision-makers to consider adaptive management options.

Climate change is already affecting Alberta's water resources. Decreasing water levels, retreating and thinning glaciers, melting permafrost, longer ice-free periods on lakes and water scarcity are just some of the major impacts being observed across the province. In the future, Alberta's watersheds can expect to experience decreased precipitation, increased evaporation, a high number of flood events, and more frequent and severe drought.

Communities, businesses, industries on the landscape, recreationists and aquatic ecosystems will all be affected by these changes.

Water management will need to be re-evaluated in the context of global climate change to meet the demands of growing populations and increased water use by industry and agriculture.

How will Alberta meet future economic and social development goals while protecting aquatic ecosystem health and ensuring safe drinking water? With many southern rivers already fully allocated, effective management in the face of climate change is essential to meeting this challenge.

Our Work

Water Matters aims to raise awareness the climate change and water issues in Alberta by sharing current and relevant information with the public and working for effective public policy that addresses the impacts of climate change on water resources.


Environmental Research and Studies Centre. University of Alberta. 2008. Impacts of Climate Change on Water in Alberta.

Sanford, Robert W. 2007. Water, Weather and the Mountain West. Rocky Mountain Books: Calgary AB.