Water expert discusses the value of cold and snow in western Canada

What would Canada be like without winter? Join UN Water for Life Decade Chair, Bob Sandford, as he explores the extraordinary influence that annual snow cover has on the nature and character of western mountain landscapes and culture in a talk entitled “The Snows of Yesteryear and the Future Climate of the Canadian West”.  Part of the Science in Society Speaker Series, this talk will be presented on Thursday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Okanagan College’s Kalamalka campus.

 “We are entering a period in which water is going to do things we haven’t seen it do before – for which no mathematics yet exist to make accurate predictive modeling possible. The loss of hydrological stationarity will affect water supply throughout the Canadian West with significant implications for everyone living downstream”, warns Sandford, who is also 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 this highly graphic presentation, one of Canada’s most respected policy experts will demonstrate what is happening to 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.

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

Sandford is the author of 20 books on the history and heritage of the western Canadian mountains. His third book on water issues in Canada, Restoring the Flow: Confronting the World’s Water Woes, was published by Rocky Mountain Books in the fall of 2009. His fourth book on water policy, Ethical Water: Valuing What Really Matters, was co-authored with Merrell-Ann Phare and was published by Rocky Mountain Books in the fall of 2011. 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 (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College) is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Starbucks Coffee, Sweet Caroline’s Bakery, and the Vernon Morning Star.

Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets and more information, visit the Okanagan Science Centre at http://www.okscience.ca or call (250) 545-3644.

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