This report summarizes the work and results of a study entitled “Assessment of the Vulnerability of Key Water Use Sectors in the South Saskatchewan River Basin (Alberta and Saskatchewan) to Changes in Water Supply Resulting from Climate Change”. That study constitutes the socioeconomic research team component of a unique, two-team project that examined the impact of predicted climate change on the surface water supply of the South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB). A major contribution of the overall project was to link the physical, hydrological and socioeconomic aspects of those changes in an innovative, “end-to-end” analytical framework.
This report lays a foundation for future analyses and recognizes that the net impacts of climate change on the physical and social dimensions of the basin will continue to be influenced by shifting social, economic and environmental priorities and activities. The results presented here can inform site-specific decisions (as demonstrated for three cities) as well as guide infrastructure and policy debates. The value of applying these results in an integrated, yet practical, water management approach to assist in sub-basin, sectoral decision-making was a strong consensus of the expert and stakeholder consultations held across the basin as part of this study.