Project Timeline


Contact Information

  • - Dr. David Sauchyn:



The sustainable use of Alberta’s freshwater supplies relies on a solid understanding of their distribution geographically and over time as the climate varies. Major freshwater challenges are arising with a growing population, economic growth, and the interactions between economic development and a changing climate. Nowhere in Canada are these issues more insistent than in the South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB), where three of four sub-basins were closed to new water allocations following historically low water levels in 2001. To address this concern, WaterSMART Solutions initiated the SSRB Adaptation to Climate Variability Project, bringing together water users and managers to explore opportunities to improve the resiliency of water management in the SSRB. Presented with projections of future hydroclimate, including the most extreme scenarios, plus stakeholder observations, the project participants proposed and evaluated potential risk management and adaption strategies. The projections of future hydroclimate were developed by researchers at PARC. For the Oldman and South Saskatchewan sub-basins, we derived climate change scenarios from Global Climate Models (GCMs) and applied these scenarios to generalized-least-squares (GLS) regression models of the climate forcing of river flow. For the Red Deer River basin, we used data from 10 runs of Regional Climate Model (RCMs) from the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP).