Protecting Canada’s Water and Society
The United Nations estimates that the world’s population will reach nine billion by 2050, while global economic growth is expected to exceed three per cent annually.
How will Canada keep its sources of freshwater clean in a future characterized by massive population growth, economic gains and uncontrolled climate warming?
Dr. Peter R. Leavitt, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and Society, has developed a new framework that will help researchers and decision-makers predict the impact of these factors on global freshwater resources. It will also help them develop effective strategies to reduce environmental damage.
By measuring how temperature and precipitation have affected lakes in the past—and continue to affect them now—Leavitt and his research team will predict and map the Prairies’ vulnerability to catastrophic droughts and floods. They will also attempt to show how Prairie lakes capture and store greenhouse gases, helping Canada meet its international obligations to reduce emissions.
Ultimately, Leavitt’s research will help us better prepare for and withstand severe climatic events in the future.