Summer brought its fair share of wind and rain, and hail and heat. This Autumn, we’ve enjoyed above average temperatures. Generally speaking, climate change is going to make dry times drier and wet times wetter. Our natural ecosystems seem to have thrived from the spring and early summer moisture, but sometimes we can feel like it’s too much rain. There are good reasons to prepare for too much rain, yet not abandon our habits of using water wisely.
Water is foundational to all life. We use it for drinking, handwashing, bathing, washing clothes, flushing toilets, landscaping, gardening, recreation, keeping our natural areas green and so much more. Between the river and rainfall, there is only so much to go around. Edmonton’s potable water supply comes from rainfall and snowmelt west of us, as well as glacial melt in the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River. The overall warming trend across the planet is causing glaciers to melt a little more quickly these days and is another good reason to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, to slow the warming and melting.
Edmonton’s strategic goal of Climate Resilience states that Edmonton is a City transitioning to a low-carbon future, has clean air and water and is adapting to a changing climate. Climate change is complex: one day it’s raining too hard and the next day the ground appears to be parched. By installing water saving fixtures, capturing rainwater in rain barrels and rain gardens, and being mindful of the waste products entering the sewage system, we can protect both the quantity and quality of the water.