Loading articles...

Drier conditions expected in the coming years for the Calgary area

Water of the Bow River flows as the ice is nearly all melted for spring in Calgary on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Chelsey Harms/660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – As southern Alberta heads towards a dry cycle as a result of climate change, City Council is hoping an expert will offer a path forward.

That expert is Dr. David Sauchyn, a professor at the University of Regina who says Calgary could face several water challenges in the coming years.

Those challenges include well water deficits and extreme water levels.

When he appears before council Dr. Sauchyn will explain what climate change means for the future of the city’s water supply.

“As the snow and the ice in the Rocky Mountains is less abundant in summer, we expect to get more rain in winter. There’s a shift in the water supply from summer to earlier in the year.”

Dr. Sauchyn points out that Calgarians are using less water compared to previous years, partly due to programming introduced by the city.

However, he says a bigger problem will be the volatile weather that is expected to persist.

As part of his discussion with council, Dr. Sauchyn will challenge the city to adapt to this new reality.

“This is probably the major challenge and the major adjustment that the city will have to make is to manage the water infrastructure to accommodate higher water levels than we’ve seen and at times lower water levels.”

Dr. Sauchyn will offer different options for the city including water rationing which has been implemented in the prairies in 1988 and 2001.