Societies and people are impacted directly and indirectly by water in many inter-related ways. Climate change is affecting the incidence and distribution of these impacts. Water is a direct disease vector, transmitting waterborne diseases from human and animal-sourced pathogens including E. coli and Giardia lamblia. Water provides the breeding habitat for vectorborne diseases, such as West Nile virus and malaria. Water resources are a key driver of food security and green water is a mechanism through which water can be redistributed. Floods and droughts (leading to wildfires and crop shortage) have direct and indirect impacts on people, communities, and health and wellbeing, such as disrupting access to healthcare services, injury, malnutrition, property damage and loss, and subsequent financial and psychological trauma. Compromised ecosystem services further contribute to negative societal impacts through loss of habitat and food supplies as well as water stress. Work is planned in the following areas:
- Infectious disease: Adapting and developing extensions to current GWF models to understand the ability of these models to assess future incidence of waterborne diseases towards a comprehensive assessment of future water-related disease burden in Canada and exploration of mediating strategies.
- Vectorborne disease: Adapting and developing extensions to current GWF to understand the ability of these models to assess future incidence of mosquito- and aquatic vector-borne diseases towards a comprehensive assessment of future water-related disease burden in Canada and exploration of mediating strategies.
- Flood and Drought Resilience: Assessing social dimensions of vulnerability and resilience to flood and drought events to inform development of current and future scenario hydrological model outputs in forms that are more practical for local decision-makers.
- Governance Metrics: Developing a benchmarking system based on core governance and social learning indicators in order to assess current status and evaluate future policy interventions to inform and be informed by current and future scenario hydrological model outputs.
Highly Qualified Personnel