Water in a Changing Climate

Alberta Climate Dialogue Summary & Synthesis- February 2014

This report summarizes the results of a full-day citizen deliberation on climate change and water with 33 residents from the Oldman Watershed in southern Alberta, Canada. Drawing on deliberative techniques, this citizen panel (here-after called Water in a Changing Climate) was a public forum for invited participants to share information, examine concerns, explore trade-offs and provide recommendations. Following an initial application process, participants were invited to attend based on a selection process that ensured diversity of people and perspectives in the room. Through moderated discussions, participants were encouraged to express views, concerns and values about water in the context of climate change as well as to explore initial avenues of response. In advance of the discussion, participants were provided with background information. During the event, guest speakers and content experts were available to provide context and to answer participant questions. The event design was sufficiently flexible to enable participants to frame issues in ways that align with existing concerns and interests. Recommendations were developed in accordance with these themes. Feedback was directed to the Oldman Watershed Council.

The following themes emerged as key areas of concern:

  1. Land use pressures
  2. Environmental & public health
  3. Extreme weather events
  4. Governance
  5. Social justice & responsibility