Community Assessment & Adaptation Options:
North Battleford is located in west-central Saskatchewan along the Yellowhead Highway and the North Saskatchewan River within the Aspen Parkland Ecoregion (Figure 1). North Battleford has a population of nearly 14000 people and has a proud history dating back to 1785 when the first trading post was established. North Battleford became a Village in 1906, a town in 1907 and a City in 1913. It is a major government, educational, industrial and agricultural service centre. Park and tourist attractions in the area include Fort Battlefords National Historic Site, The Battlefords Provincial Park, a Western Development Museum, the Allan Sapp Art Gallery and a casino.
Figure 1 Location of North Battleford Aspen Parkland Ecoregion
The Aspen Parkland Ecoregion encompasses a mix of aspen forest and fescue grasslands. It is a transition ecoregion, between continuous grassland areas further south and continuous forest cover further north. The ecoregion is dominated by agriculture, being approximately 80% cultivated (Figure 1). Several other urban centres are found within the ecoregion including Lloydminster, Yorkton and Melville. Several prominent upland areas are found. The ecoregion also includes major river valleys: the Souris, Qu’Appelle, Assiniboine, South and North Saskatchewan and Battle Rivers, and lakes including the Qu’Appelle lakes, Kenosee, Jackfish, Manitou and Lac Lenore. Numerous dams and reservoirs are present. Other economic activity includes heavy oil upgrading and potash refining. Outdoor recreation activity - hunting, camping and fishing - occurs throughout the ecoregion.
Climate Normals (1971-2000)
- The average daily temperature ranges from -17°C in January to 17.6°C in July with 5 months being below 0 (November to March). The lowest average daily minimum temperature is -22.2°C experienced in January and an average daily maximum temperature of 24°C in July.
- Annual precipitation averages 373.2 mm of which 76% is rainfall and the remainder is snow. 60% falls in the months of May, June, July and August.
- The average monthly wind speed is between 12.6 (January and November) and 16.5 km/hr (May)
- An indication of the demand for cooling and heating is provided by the number of degree days above 18°C – 89.7; and the number of degree days below 18°C - 5929.5.
Over the next century to 2100 climate scenarios suggest:
- A warmer climate - temperatures may generally rise 2 to 4 degrees.
- A longer growing season – but drier, despite a slight increase in precipitation to just over 375 to 440 mm. This is a result of increased summer temperatures and increased water demand or evapotranspiration.
- The demand for summer cooling could increase from 50 to 250 degree days >18°C.
- A shorter, milder winter. Heating requirements may be reduced by 15% to 21%.
- Expect more frequent and more intense extreme events (e.g. heavy precipitation or drought). Droughts will likely increase in intensity and frequency.
Regional Adaptation Options:
- Under climate change, the primary issue for communities, agriculture and other economic activities will be water and sewer management to handle both flood and drought situations.
- Xeriscaping (low water landscaping) and other water conservation measures should be priorities.
- Soil and moisture conservation should continue to be an agricultural priority.
- Native habitat can be expected to adapt to drier conditions, including changes in species composition. Stocking rates and/or grazing periods may have to be adjusted.
- Development and reclamation associated with economic activities such as mining and oil and gas extraction should adapt to the changing climate conditions to enhance environmental performance.
Sources of additional information on Community Adaptation Guides are available in the SaskAdapt.ca-Communities section.
- Acton, D.F., Padbury,G.A., Stushnoff,C.T., 1998. The Ecoregions of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina and Saskatchewan, Environment and Resource Management.
- Barrow, E. 2009 Climate Scenarios for Saskatchewan PARC Summary Document 09-01 http://www.parc.ca/pdf/research_publications/renamed/SD2009_01.pdf
- Barrow, E. 2009 Climate Scenarios for Saskatchewan http://www.parc.ca/pdf/research_publications/renamed/SD2009_01.pdf
- Canadian Plains Research Centre. 2005. Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/ecozones_and_ecoregions.html
- Environment Canada, Climate Normals http://climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climate_normals/results_e.html?StnID=3157&autofwd=1
- Saskatchewan, 2010. Saskbiz, Community Profiles at http://www.saskbiz.ca/communityprofiles/communityprofile.asp?CommunityID=11