WaterSMART Solutions Publishes (SSROM Phase 3) Final Report

The South Saskatchewan River Operational Model (SSROM), is a comprehensive daily mass balance model which enables the comparison of adaptation strategies and evaluation of impacts across the South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB). For this work, the best available climate data was used to reflect worst-case scenarios in terms of seasonality shifts and temperate and precipitation changes, provided by Alberta Environment and Protected Areas (AEPA) and incorporated into the SSROM.

Alberta is experiencing drought conditions; as of December 2023, there were 51 Water Shortage Advisories active across central and southern Alberta. The current drought status is a critical reminder of the importance of both short and long-term planning for water management and adaptation strategies. Alberta is also experiencing strong municipal and economic growth, which depends on access to a reliable supply of water. Water resources are the key to balancing provincial growth with maintaining a sustainable and clean water supply for safe, secure drinking water for all and preserving a healthy aquatic ecosystem. It is imperative that water managers continue to have up-to-date operational tools available to meet the needs of the basin, especially in the context of a changing climate.

The results of this project highlight the need for adaptive water management across the SSRB. Climate change puts significant pressure on water availability in a system that is largely fully allocated. The strategies highlighted in the Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB demonstrate that economic growth can be facilitated through improved water security throughout the SSRB if we act quickly to implement new approaches to water and watershed management in the basin. Water security is a prerequisite of economic growth, and economic growth cannot be prioritized at the expense of the environment. A key theme raised throughout the Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB project development was the recognition that the most effective adaptive strategies take a long time to implement.

Our hope is that the GoA will take this report into consideration and identify a long-term home for the Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB; that is, someone who can progress and own the Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB for the good of all Albertans.


To read the full report, download the attachments below.

Main Report_SSROM_Ph3_Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB

Appendix A_SSROM_Ph3_Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB_WG TOR

Appendix B_SSROM_Ph3_Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB_Funders

Appendix C_SSROM_Ph3_Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB_Climate Memo

Appendix D_SSROM_Ph3_Adaptation Roadmap for the SSRB_Flow image

Appendix E – SSROM_Ph3_Adaptation Roadmap_EcoMetrics