Campus Life  

Water expert sounds alarm over Western Canada’s diminishing snowpack

Okanagan College Media Release

Bob SandfordCanadians should expect the unexpected when it comes to the changing winter climate, warns the UN Water for Life Decade Chair, Bob Sandford.

“We are entering a period in which water is going to do things we haven’t seen it do before,” said Sandford, who will be speaking at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series.

The series is a joint project by the Okanagan Science Centre and Okanagan College. Tickets for the event are available in advance for $7 at the Okanagan Science Centre, or $10 at the door.

In this highly graphic presentation, entitled The Snows of Yesterday and the Future Climate of the Canadian West, Sandford will illustrate what is happening to the snowpack, snow cover and glacial ice in the Mountain West and what changes in upland hydrology may mean in terms of downstream water supply and quality in the future.

The loss of stable snowpack and glacial ice “will affect water supply throughout the Canadian West with significant implications for everyone downstream,” said Sandford, who has established himself internationally as a water policy expert.

Sandford is the Director of the Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative and an associate of the Centre for Hydrology, which is part of the Global Water Institute at the University of Saskatchewan.

In 2011, the Interaction Council invited Sandford to be an advisor on water issues. This global public policy forum was composed of more than 20 former Heads of State including Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, U.S. President Bill Clinton and the former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox.

Sandford is the author of 20 books, including numerous titles on water issues, such as Restoring the Flow: Confronting the World’s Water Woes. His next book, Cold Matters: The State & Fate of Canada’s Snow and Ice will be available in the fall of 2012.

The Science in Society Speaker Series is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Starbucks Coffee, Sweet Caroline’s Bakery, and the Vernon Morning Star.

For advanced tickets and more information, visit the Okanagan Science Centre at www.okscience.ca or call (250) 545-3644.

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