The Town of Okotoks has completed a Climate Resilience Express Action Plan to respond to climate change forecasts.
The plan was started in fall of 2017, and is the first step in developing a comprehensive plan to deal with the impacts the community will face over the next several years.
The plan includes a Climate Change Impact Analysis, providing forecasts to 2050 for the Okotoks region and focuses on short-term and urgent impacts.
Environment and Sustainability Coordinator for the town, Dawn Smith, says water supply is one of the effects of climate change needing immediate action planning as our ecosystem shifts.
"The impacts of climate change are largely social and economic, which we saw with High river and Calgary in the past with floods. Detrimental impacts can effect people's mental and physical health, as well as our economy." said Smith.
Peak water consumption in the warmer months is one of the urgent impacts of climate change the town will focus on in the planning process. Production and supply is issue as we head into the warmer months and consumption increases significantly.
"We need to manage the water consumption and supply issue. Last summer we had an extended period of heat and little precipitation and drastically increased our community consumption levels over what we could produce in a day." Smith said.
The next step after addressing urgent matters will be to examine the town's energy systems and how to strengthen resilience to potential events through a national project partnership with "QUEST," (Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow.) The town's energy systems will be examined to identify weaknesses to climate impacts and strengthen resilience to potential events.
More information on the climate resilience action plan and details on the quest project can be found at www.oktoks.ca/climatechange