The Canadian prairies are facing an unprecedented water crisis due to a combination of climate warming, increase in human activity and historic drought, says new research by the University of Albertas Dr. David Schindler, one of the worlds leading environmental scientists.
"The western prairies are worse than other areas of Canada," said Schindler, co-author of a paper published in the journal "Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences," early online edition. "One of the referees on this paper said, wow, this is like looking out the window of a locomotive 10 seconds before the train crashes. It is a very dire situation".
Although most global studies rank Canada among the top five countries in terms of per-capita water supply, those rankings can be deceptive, argue Schindler and Dr. Bill Donahue, who co-authored the paper. Canadas western prairie provinces (WPP), for example, have an area of 2 million kms that lie in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains and as a result, are the driest large area of southern Canada.
Phoebe Dey | EurekAlert!
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