Experts from across Canada gathered in Ottawa on April 11, 2019 for a forum hosted by Global Water Futures on water security to discuss solutions that will make communities and industries more resilient and less vulnerable to climate change.
Attendees spoke about the scientific evidence of worsening water sustainability, climate-related water crises, and the science and policy solutions needed to address current issues.
The forum came on the heels of a recent report by Environment and Climate Change Canada that stated that the country is warming twice as fast as the global average and three times as fast in the North.
John Pomeroy, director of the Global Water Futures (GWF) program, emphasized that Canada’s current policies on water could vastly improve.
“Canadians can no longer be assured our waters are abundant, safe, and secure,” said Pomeroy. “Global temperatures continue to increase, glaciers melt, permafrost thaws, river flows become unpredictable, and lakes warm and fill with toxic algae, so science is telling us that these changes are going to increasingly affect everyone and the time to do something about this is now.”
Pomeroy added that the impacts of these rapid changes in water availability and quality are dangerous and expensive, with costs of floods and droughts skyrocketing for families, towns and cities, the insurance sector, businesses, and ultimately the federal government.
“It’s important that we have these conversations across the country, especially here in Ottawa,” said Pomeroy. “But it’s even more important that we act.”
The event was co-hosted by the Forum for Leadership on Water, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, POLIS Program on Ecological Governance, and the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.