Water Policy and Extreme Climate Events
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Canadians are at increasing risk from water‐related events such as multiyear droughts, flooding and/or significant changes in historical precipitation patterns. Extreme hydrological events can also hinder our ability to protect and manage groundwater resources. The sets of specific precautionary measures and responses that are available to private versus public water users and stakeholders are not well understood, nor are they necessarily enabled or encouraged by existing water policies. For example, there may be beneficial roles for selective infrastructure investments, revised water management protocols, or legal and regulatory changes, where these approaches can be considerably more effective, if undertaken in a coordinated manner. Some effects of increased flooding or drought can be more readily accommodated by some water using sectors than others, yet mechanisms to coordinate beneficial actions across sectors may be lacking. Although the returns to specific investment alternatives will be highly location and context‐specific, some types of prior investments or actions might have relatively higher returns than would come from remedial or adaptive measures alone.
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