At a new research lab in Canmore, Alta., scientists are studying the impact of climate change on water, glaciers and snow, and developing tools to predict and warn people about future floods.
The Coldwater Laboratory, led by John Pomeroy, recently moved from the Barrier Lake Field Station in Kananaskis Country to the Bow Valley.
The expanded lab in Canmore opened earlier this month and is part of the University of Saskatchewan-led Global Water Futures Program, funded in part by a $77.8-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.
Pomeroy, who is also the Canada Research Chair in water resources and climate change, and director of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan, spoke with the Calgary Eyeopener Tuesday about the lab.
Below is an edited transcript of that conversation.
Q: Tell me about your new facility. What have you done?
A: We enjoyed Kananaskis but we needed a larger space and better Internet connectivity, and it’s nice to be right in the community of Canmore as well.
It’s part of a larger initiative called Global Water Futures… that’s allowing us to do a number of things across Canada. One is to develop improved flood and drought forecasting systems, and the second is to start to look at the impacts of climate change on our water supplies and the quality of that water in 50 years, 100 years time, so we can anticipate what’s coming down the pipe.
And then the third is to work with various industrial sectors and communities to help them prepare for the impacts of the climate change and other changes on their water.
Q: Why is the University of Saskatchewan leading this study, in the backyard of the University of Calgary and University of Alberta?
A: U of S is the overall lead of Global Water Futures, but it involves 18 universities across Canada including the U of C and U of A. The reason we’re in the…