Managing Drought and Water Scarcity in Vulnerable Environments: Creating a Roadmap for Change in the United States (1820 September 2006)
Paper No. 10-24
Presentation Time: 5:00 PM-7:00 PM

CHALLENGES IN RESPONDING TO THE CANADIAN DROUGHTS OF 2001 AND 2002

WHEATON, Elaine1, WITTROCK, Virginia1, and KOSHIDA, Grace2, (1) Saskatchewan Research Council, 125-15 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK S7N2X8, Canada, wheaton@src.sk.ca, (2) Adaptation and Impacts Research Division, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H5T4, Canada

Canada's drought years of 2001 and 2002 brought devastating impacts, posed considerable adaptation challenges, and made history. As a technologically advanced, wealthy country, many believe that our agricultural industry and water management sector have good capacity to deal with climate extremes, including droughts. Despite this capacity, the 2001 and 2002 droughts caused considerable damage to many sectors of our economy. Agricultural production dropped an estimated $3.6 billion (CDN) in 2001 and 2002. Devastating crop production losses affected a wide variety of crops across Canada, especially in 2001. Livestock production was especially impacted and culling was widespread. Previously reliable water supplies were heavily stressed and some failed.

Several lessons were learned from the 2001 and 2002 droughts. Numerous adaptation measures were suggested and used at local and regional levels to deal with the droughts. The drought adaptations used can be grouped into the following categories: 1) conservation of soil moisture and/or water, 2) modification of crop and livestock management practices, 3) use of specific institutional programs and initiatives, and 4) application of drought research, monitoring and technological products. These adaptations sometimes proved insufficient to deal with such an intense, large-area, and persistent drought, underlining Canada's vulnerability to such events. In some cases, a lag-time in awareness of the severity of the drought affected the ability of decision-makers to implement effective drought adaptations. Examples of drought adaptation successes and problems are highlighted.

Managing Drought and Water Scarcity in Vulnerable Environments: Creating a Roadmap for Change in the United States (1820 September 2006)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 10
Reception and Poster Session II
: North Fairview
5:00 PM-7:00 PM, Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Speciality Meeting No. 3, p. 31

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