Raging floods and withering droughts have always affected parts of Canada, ruining homes and decimating the land that feeds us. But now that there’s a general consensus that climate change will result in even more extremes in duration, frequency and severity, Donald Burn says it’s time we examine its impact on water.
The civil and environmental engineering professor’s research delves into global warming’s effects on the hydrologic cycle in Canada. The thinking goes that if we know how severe floods or droughts will become, we can modify the infrastructure to deal with the new reality.
Burn says his research will help flood control operators and others with how they perform their climate-related jobs.
“There certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem,” says Burn who completed his BASc, MASc and PhD in civil engineering at Waterloo. “You have to look at what local conditions are and how they’re being impacted by the changes.”