July 24th, 2024

Albertans have reason to be concerned about drought study


By Lethbridge Herald on January 19, 2024.

Editor:

Your city and my own, Calgary, have had to ask residents to conserve water. Given our current drought conditions, these restrictions may tighten up in the spring and summer.

The Town of High River, meanwhile, is watching with concern the logging in the watershed of the Highwood River, which supplies their drinking water, knowing that it will impact water flows in the summer.

 On the flip side, we also know that previous logging in our high watersheds added to the flood levels that hit Southern Alberta communities in 2013.  

It has been well said that healthy forests do three things with water; they slow it down, spread it out, and soak it up. We clear our forests at our peril.

On top of this we must add the extreme weather events ushered in by climate change. 

As retired Alberta biologist Lorne Fitch wrote “climate change isn’t our future, it is our present. Declining river flows, persistent drought, increased temperatures, heat domes, greater evaporation and more wicked weather events signal our world has changed. This is not the end of our world but it’s time to be smarter, more conscious of the changes and better stewards of what water is available.”

The province has just awarded a $350,000 contract to the firm WaterSMART in order to assess drought conditions and craft a water plan.

 Many Albertans, including some municipal staff and elected officials in southern Alberta, fear that the scope of the study will be limited to planning engineering solutions for irrigation.

 Considering that this is the same provincial government which approved the Highwood logging during a drought year, the same Government which cannot bring itself to use the words “climate change” and in fact 10 months ago removed the longstanding Climate Change in Alberta page from their website (I saved it as a PDF), these fears are not unfounded.

Roger Gagne

Calgary

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old school

The title is more profound than the article. Those who “study” the drought situation seem to be steered by a narrative. Not reality. Is it dry? Yes. It has been before. To say it again, 100 year cycles as some assume ,puts us in line with the dirty thirties. It will be wet again. Too wet for our convenience even, but it will happen. The climate change narrative which sprang from “ global warming scare “ when it didn’t happen as predicted ,is actually just a theory and many experts know that.John Kerry and his ilk warned us some years ago coastal cities would be gone, polar bears would be gone by 2010. Not surprisingly he was wrong. Climate change is a better phrase for his type. You can not be wrong with that prediction. Climate always changed in the past tho, why is it suddenly scary- – -.

SophieR

Thank goodness the past thirty years of scientific consensus was wrong. That the empirical observations of steadily declining river flows in southern Alberta are meaningless. That there is no need for precaution in the best of all possible worlds.

Last edited 6 months ago by SophieR
buckwheat

SophieR. You buy that consensus is science, a consensus can be be made on just about anything the dolts want to believe in.

SophieR

We’re talking about ‘scientific consensus’ not consensus of opinions with the Manhattan Contrarian.

old school

Interesting that 45 years ago there was an ice-age coming,based on scientific consensus.

SophieR

There was. That is until we dumped billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Things change when you fiddle with the process.

Older-Than-Old-School

I’m not sure where this idea of a 100-year drought cycle comes from. Are you confusing drought frequency with the Gleissberg cycle?
In any event, since 1929, the Canadian Prairies have experienced five major, multi-year droughts. And over the past 200 years the region experienced more than 40 droughts in total. That’s not a narrative. Those are hard core empirical facts.

biff

my oh my what a piece of work

Southern Albertan

Expert commentary out of the University of Saskatchewan on this drought in the past few days, indicated that we’re going to need meters in depth of snow in the mountains to resolve the water runoff crisis. It was stated that ‘feet’ of snow is not good enough.

old school

Sophie : re consensus. What is that 50% + 1 or everybody? Not all scientists have bought into( or been bought into) the narrative. It’s an idea at best.

SophieR

Sure, it’s an idea (hypothesis) supported by empirical evidence per the scientific method. The ‘scientific consensus’ represents published results of this process with peer review and the methodology repeated by other scientists with supporting and evolving results.

If you can’t understand the importance of the scientific method (and its difference from a coffee clatch), it is best to show some humility and act on their suggestions. This is called the ‘precautionary principle’.

The letter writer is correct to suggest that WaterSmart is not doing this, by ignoring important variables like the impact of climate change or river health. Their mandate is to engineer the water we do get to supply irrigators and feedlots (and the costly pipe dream of irrigation expansion). Science is about the future.

buckwheat

Who is peer reviewing the peer review cabal? They all have a vested (monetary) issue in promoting the consensus, otherwise their grants dry up. Well known hypothesis. 😂

SophieR

The peer review cabal is tested by further scientific inquiry.

I’m sure you avoid medicine derived from medical science, and tall buildings designed on the results of materials science, and automobile transportation based on thermodynamics … All brought to you with the scientific method and peer review.

But this is all a diversion, isn’t it? Is it not about feeling guilty about your consumption? An unethical clutching, a last grasp, at possessive individualism?

“Be swift to enjoy, what thou art swift to lose.” – Sophocles (maybe about a livable environment)

biff

our issues are most that those making decisions do so on the basis of making money – particularly for those that already have most of it. it is as though making money is our real religion, and god is just a grand banker. how is it that there remain those that do not understand that the systems of the planet rely upon balance, and when we upset the balance we create issues. is one aware that the “dirty thirties” was not a world wide event, just one that affected regions where massive cash crop farming of products not indigenous to the affected regions were a root cause of the disaster, so to speak.

Southern Albertan

“Climate scientists raising concerns over Alberta’s groundwater levels amid Prairie drought”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/groundwater-levels-alberta-drought-1.7090527
Anyone in southern Alberta who depends on their water wells for their water source needs to be concerned about this.