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Extreme Climate Events and the Energy Sector in the Souris River Basin: Key stakeholder perspectives

The energy sector has long been an important part of the economy of the Souris River Basin, located at the intersection of south-eastern Saskatchewan, south-western Manitoba and North Dakota.

In recent decades, the basin has experienced a number of extreme weather events, ranging from droughts to excessive moisture conditions. The region’s climate is projected to experience rising temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns that will lead to greater climate variability and potentially more frequent occurrence of extreme events. Effective and proactive adaptation strategies therefore could become increasingly important if energy sector companies are to continue to achieve their financial goals, meet their environmental obligations, and maintain their social licenses to operate.

Through interviews with representatives from the energy sector and local and provincial governments, the study sought to understand how the sector has coped with historic extreme climate events and adjusted its practices in light of lessons learned. Insights gained through this review could help efforts to build the capacity of industry and governments to plan and manage for anticipated future climatic changes. 

This research was undertaken as part of the project “Risks to the Energy Sector related to Extreme Climate Events: Case Studies of Adaptation Actions Focusing on the Upper and Lower Souris River Watersheds” co-financed in part by Natural Resources Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Manitoba.