Changing Climate in the Watershed

The Elbow River watershed is experiencing the effects of our changing climate. 

Climate change is “what is driving the big changes that we’re seeing right now….In the mountains, the headwaters above Calgary, we’ve seen warming in the winter of about 5 degrees for winter minimum temperatures, the daily lows, since the early 1960s. So it’s really high. In fact, it’s magnified at high altitudes in the mountains, just like it is in the polar regions” (Dr. John Pomeroy, Associate Director, Global Water Futures: Solutions to Water Threats in an Era of Global Change, quoted in The Globe and Mail, September 10, 2016). 

Our Elbow’s source, Rae Glacier, has been shrinking for decades, water levels are decreasing, and there has been a seasonal shift to earlier flows in the spring and lower flows in the summer. Research is ongoing and predictions regarding future precipitation, evaporation, extreme weather events (including floods and droughts) are many. The following links provide information relevant to the Elbow River watershed.