Hydrology refers to the physical movement of a body of water, such as changes in a river’s water level and flow. By understanding how water moves, we can better anticipate how much of it is available for ecosystems—as well as how vulnerable these are to human disturbances, such as wildfires, flooding and resource extraction. As Canada Research Chair in Hydrological Sustainability, Dr. Scott Ketcheson is building on his expertise in freshwater generation to better understand these critical issues.
He and his research team aim to advance ecosystem sustainability by shedding light on hydrological processes. Specifically, they are determining the importance of wetlands and headwater catchment reaches (a segment of a river located between two tributaries) for water generation in the lower Athabasca River Basin. They are also investigating the role of disturbance on hydrological sustainability and freshwater availability in the Boreal Plain and developing efficient management and reclamation practices in the Alberta oil sands that are relevant to industry.