Project Timeline


Contact Information

  • - Dr. David Sauchyn:



The scientific objectives of this project were to develop scenarios of projected changes in the hydroclimate of the Athabasca River Basin (ARB) using innovative methods that incorporate the forcing and modes of variability in the regional hydroclimate and are applicable to adaption planning in the basin. The project provided our industrial partner, WaterSMART Solutions Ltd., with improved capabilities to deliver practical adaptive strategies for water management under climate change. The most innovative aspects of the proposed project were the novel methods of downscaling and processing of climate model outputs, such that we constructed scenarios of future climate that incorporated the internal natural variability; the most significant impact of a changing climate is a shift in water resources among seasons and years. Inter-annual variability and extreme hydrologic events, rather than long-term trends in mean runoff, present most of the challenge for managing watersheds and for designing and maintaining water conveyance and storage structures. We evaluated the capacity of high-resolution Regional Climate Models (RCMs) to simulate the full range of regional hydroclimate variability. Downscaled and bias-corrected climate data were applied to hydrological and land use models to develop future scenarios for the ARB.