Sauchyn Kulshreshtha-2007-Prairies Chapter 7

Increases in water scarcity represent the most serious climate risk. the Prairies are Canada’s major
dryland. Recent trends and future projections include lower summer streamflows, falling lake levels,
retreating glaciers, and increasing soil- and surface-water deficits. A trend of increased aridity will most
likely be realized through a greater frequency of dry years. Water management and conservation will
continue to enable adaptation to climate change and variability. this could include technologies for
improved efficiency of water use, as well as water pricing regimes that would more accurately reflect the
real costs of water treatment and supply, and help to ensure that an increasingly scarce resource is
properly allocated. Higher forest, grassland and crop productivity from increased heat and atmospheric
CO2 could be limited by available soil moisture, and dry soil is more susceptible to degradation. Water
scarcity is a constraint on all sectors and communities, and may constrain the rapid economic and
population growth in Alberta.