I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Speaking of Climate Change and Water

B.C's provincial environment Minister Barry Penner advised British Columbians on Monday to brace for possible drought in many areas of the province this summer following two months of unusually warm and dry weather.  It could also mean an earlier start to the forest-fire season, Penner warned.

Snowpacks in river basins across B.C. are below normal levels and with only four to six weeks of winter remaining, time is running out to make up the difference.

If the situation persists, it could pose serious problems for cattle ranchers who need both rain to foster vegetation growth and snowpack to refill lakes and stock watering ponds that have not yet recovered from drought conditions in the summer of 2009.  Snowpacks range from 65 per cent to 95 per cent of normal, according to a bulletin issued by the ministry's river forecast centre.

"I want to give advance notice to local governments, to individuals as well as industry, that we may have some water supply challenges this summer, and it's a good time to start looking at ways we can reduce our consumption over the summer months," Penner said.
Didn't Gwynne Dyer and others suggest wars might be fought about access to water as climate change alters rainfall patterns?   I hope we are a  long way away from armed conflict - but I did overhear (OK - I eavesdropped) vendors at the local farmers' market discussing  verbal conflicts about water rights last summer.   2010 looks as if it will be worse at the moment - perhaps we should begin reducing greenhouse gas emssions in a meaningful manner and working on plans to adapt to it.   Just a thought....

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