Concurrent Sessions 2 | Feb 19, 2020 > (CS2-ER) Protecting our Water Resources in a Changing Climate

(CS2-ER) Protecting our Water Resources in a Changing Climate

posted on 4:11 PM, November 12, 2019

Moderator: Theresa Fresco

Kikawinaw Askiy: Source Water Protection Planning at Okanese First Nation, Treaty 4, Saskatchewan

Presenters: Cade Tuckanow-Starr and Dr. Robert Patrick

Climate change threatens Kikawinaw Askiy (Mother Earth) — our lands, water, fish and plants — all that gives life. Okanese First Nation is located in Treaty 4 Territory, Saskatchewan, approximately 110 km northeast of Regina. Okanese First Nation aspires to achieve reconciliation with Kikawinaw Askiy by restoring our sacred ecology of how to live on the land in a respectful and life-sustaining way. In 2018 Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier and Council gave approval for a source water protection plan with the goal to protect source water for future generations. Groundwater is our only source of drinking water. Climate change and past land use practices threaten our sacred and life-giving water. This planning process has partnered with the University of Saskatchewan in knowledge-sharing and relationship-building.

This presentation describes our source water protection plan and how the planning process engages community members, including youth, women and Elders, to guide future community development, protect public safety and infrastructure, and ensure wise economic investments.

Collaborative Drought Planning in the Semi-arid Okanagan Region

Presenters: Kellie Garcia and Nelson Jatel

Climate change presents a fundamental long-term challenge to water sustainability in the semi-arid Okanagan region. Within the last decade, the Okanagan has experienced high elevation snowmelt occurring earlier than usual (as early as March), record high water flows in spring, record low flows in summer and fall, and extreme and prolonged summer heat events. With many public water systems, a growing population and a chain of valley lakes that connect us all, successful climate change adaptation in the Okanagan depends on collaboration.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board helps communities work together to become more resilient and bring consistent and cooperative responses to climate change. In this session, two speakers will share case studies, including a project to develop environmental flow need values for Okanagan streams, best practices, challenges and opportunities associated with collaborative drought planning. Live polls will be used to gather audience input, facilitate discussion, and broaden learning opportunities.