SAMSON CREE NATION FLOOD & DROUGHT ASSESSMENT & ACTION PLANCategory: 2018, Climate, Community Grant, Current, Grant
The mission of this project is to assess Samson Cree Nation’s (SCN) current flood and drought (FAD) resiliency and create a plan that will help them become more resilient in the future. With the help of this grant, SCN will improve their capacity to achieve this by hiring an outside consultant, MAGNA Engineering, to manage the project and help with data collection and creation, FAD assessment (assessment of current FAD resiliency based on background research, data, and engagement), FAD action plan (prioritized list of policy, infrastructure and engagement recommendations to help us become more FAD resilient), and community engagement.
The water supply outlook for Alberta predicts longer, more frequent droughts and increases in flooding events which is already evident in the SCN. They are located in the Battle River watershed, a prairie-fed river system, that has been designated high risk with worsening water stress according to the World Resources Institute (2016). Drought conditions are already affecting residents, as grass fires have resulted in evacuation, wetlands are drying up, and a safe and reliable water supply is in jeopardy for hundreds of homes that rely on wells drawing on groundwater that continues to drop to a lower level.
According to the Miistakis Institute (2018), communities that have implemented FAD mitigation strategies will have a shorter recovery time and reduced impacts on residents and infrastructure than those who have not. While we recognize that it is important to adopt FAD adaptation and mitigation strategies, they currently do not have the funds, staff capacity, or expertise related to climate change, flooding, or drought. However, as observers, stewards, and interpreters of ecosystems, they will offer valuable insight to complement climate change action, alongside industry expertise and grant funding.
SCD believes this project is the first phase of a larger project to bring their community towards increased FAD resiliency.