Local Study Looks at Changing Water Resources in the Mississippi-Rideau Region
CARLETON PLACE, October 14, 2014 – A ground-breaking scientific report assessing how rivers, lakes and wetlands in the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds may be affected by climate change has been completed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and the Mississippi and Rideau Valley Conservation Authorities (MVCA and RVCA).
This release entitled Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Aquatic Ecosystems in the Mississippi and Rideau Conservation Authority Watersheds is the first of a series of studies which will become the foundation for the Mississippi-Rideau Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. The development of this strategy highlights a three year cooperative project based on the Mississippi-Rideau Watershed Region (MR Region). The MNRF, RVCA and MVCA have partnered to develop assessments which provide scientific information on the impacts of climate change specific to the MR Region.
Increasing water temperatures in lakes, rivers and wetlands and changing precipitation patterns are identified as key local issues. These changes are already being observed and will continue to impact water levels over time, significantly increasing the vulnerability of our watersheds.
The report also provides recommendations for next steps – focusing on how to reduce the impacts of these changes to protect our local aquatic resources and identifying further areas of study.
“These assessments will be essential tools for local decision-makers who are looking to better understand the impacts of climate change on our local environment,” explained MVCA General Manager, Paul Lehman. “Planning and adapting to climate change now is critical and this report will shape a regional climate change adaptation strategy for the future.”
MNRF has a mandate to help Ontarians adapt to climate change. Its guiding document, Sustainability in a Changing Climate: A Strategy for the Ministry of Natural Resources (2011-2014), outlines the imperative for action on climate change and identifies adaptation strategies as a key priority for action highlighting the use of climate scenarios and vulnerability analyses to develop and employ adaptive solutions to current and emerging issues.
The Mississippi and Rideau Valley Conservation Authorities recognize that climate change vulnerability assessments are a rapidly evolving area of practice. Both Authorities agree that understanding where and how their wateresheds are vulnerable to climate change and what might be done to avoid negative impacts and benefit from positive ones is crucial.
For more information on the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Aquatic Ecosystems in the Mississippi and Rideau Conservation Authority Watersheds Study or the Mississippi-Rideau Climate Change Adaptation Strategy please visit mvc.on.ca or rvca.ca.
Climate Change Adaptation
Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority