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Climate change and water governance in Saskatchewan, Canada

Margot Hurlbert (Department of Justice Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Canada Department of Sociology and Social Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Canada)
Harry Diaz (Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, Regina, Canada)
Darrell R. Corkal (Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada, Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration and Environment, Saskatoon, Canada)
Jim Warren (Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, Regina, Canada)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Article publication date: 15 May 2009

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the successes and challenges of adaptation to climate change focusing on water governance institutions in Saskatchewan, a province located in the western Canadian prairies.

Design/methodology/approach

A framework of vulnerability and adaptive capacity to the effects of climate change is employed. Data are obtained through qualitative research conducted through interviews and focus groups with stakeholders and people playing a role in water governance in Saskatchewan.

Findings

There have been many positive institutional developments which have improved Saskatchewan's adaptive capacity. The most promising is the creation of local watershed advisory committees that are poised to implement on‐the‐ground water management decisions. What is lacking, however, is a long‐term comprehensive climate change and adaptation plan, with built‐in flexibility to address present and future climate variability. Without a long‐term baseline plan and vision, Saskatchewan rural communities and the agricultural sector will remain vulnerable to present and future climate‐induced water stress.

Practical implications

The research shows a need for an increased inter‐disciplinary approach addressing environmental issues, and an increased need for academic‐government‐industry partnerships working towards capacity‐building for sustainable climate change adaptation responses.

Originality/value

This inter‐disciplinary research study is the first of its kind conducted in this region of Canada, and blends contributions from physical and social scientists, government and rural stakeholders.

Keywords

Citation

Hurlbert, M., Diaz, H., Corkal, D.R. and Warren, J. (2009), "Climate change and water governance in Saskatchewan, Canada", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 118-132. https://doi.org/10.1108/17568690910955595

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited