Prairie Water

Enhancing resilience of prairie communities through sustainable water management

PI's: Christopher Spence, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Colin Whitfield, University of Saskatchewan

Project Manager: Jared Wolfe

The Problem: Prairie Water focuses on sustainable water management for civic and provincial policy makers and urban, rural, and Indigenous communities on the Canadian Prairies. In a region that contains over 80 per cent of Canada’s agricultural land base with a crop market value of over $116 billion CAD, accounting for nearly a third of the world’s wheat production, and is the top producer of lentil crops, water quantity and quality are changing and new threats from extreme events are emerging.

The Plan: Prairie Water will address sustainable water management and enhance water resilience under a changing climate across three interrelated themes: hydrology, groundwater, wetlands, and governance. 

The Outcome: This project will include a set of Prairie-specific large-basin and local watershed-scale models that predict runoff, groundwater recharge and the distribution, abundance and persistence of wetlands across the region under changing climate and its variability; a set of decision support tools to help users understand the impacts of wetland drainage and restoration; new assessment of groundwater resources and their sustainable management; and a multi-stakeholder process for how to mobilize science with communities and governance.