Incorporating climate change scenarios and water-balance approach to cumulative assessment models of solution potash Mining in the Canadian Prairies
Clark, Ryan | Andreichuk, Iuliia | Sauchyn, David | McMartin, Dena W.
Changing hydroclimatic conditions on the Canadian Prairies include significant shifts in the intensity, duration, and frequency of precipitation events, as well as temperature and seasonal shifts that affect water availability and quality. Concurrently, high-water-use-intensity industrial development, such as solution potash mining, is also lessening availability of timely water resources in agricultural regions and southern Prairie watersheds. This study used a three-pronged approach to (1) incorporate climate change projections within CEA, (2) identify the impact of projected and trending population and industry growth to inform water-balance calculations and recommendations within the study area, and (3) calculate the net impact on water availability of changing hydroclimate on a specific industry (solution potash mining) using a case study methodology for application to the QuâAppelle Watershed. The results indicate that an implemented process approach is a good option for incorporating climate change models and methods within cumulative effects monitoring and assessment programs, despite challenges associated with regional variance and lack of long-term data. The outcomes of case study development and review indicate a climate change impact (26% difference) on the available water resources anticipated within the area. And combining this with the water-balance approach, it is recommended that water and climate modeling be completed at the regional scale to account for assumptions and scenario/model-based projections.Show more [+] Less [-]