Your input on living in a community equipped for the effects of climate change is what a Saskatchewan grad school professor is hoping to tap into next week in Swift Current.

The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy's Governing Sustainable Municipalities project is running presentations in four Saskatchewan communities.

Monday evening's discussion at the Innovation Plex auditorium will feature Dr. Margot Hurlbert - the Canada Research Chair in Climate Change, Energy and Sustainability Policy, and a professor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

Hurlbert will deliver research that came out in this past Monday's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change Synthesis report.

"We're on a trajectory where we're going to actually have deeper, longer, more invasive droughts and precipitation as well as the impacts that has on our local communities," said Hurlbert.

The conversation will cover what the risks are, how they will affect places like Swift Current, and how communities can innovate and adapt for the future.

Hurlbert said drought is "top of mind" for Swift Current.

"It's historically been more arid than places such as the northeast or the southeast," she said. "So drought and aridity. But what we're seeing now... we call it a whiplash effect, where we go from drought to extreme floods and then back to drought again, very quickly."

Hurlbert pointed to the 2010 washout of Highway 1 near Maple Creek as an example of the impact a changing climate can have on a community and its infrastructure.

"Thinking about that and then thinking about what communities like Swift Current and the people that live around them have experienced. How they've adapted? But then how we can innovate and ramp up that adaptation for the increasing impacts of climate change into the future?"

Monday's discussion at the Innovation Plex Auditorium is at 7 p.m. Space is limited, so you can pre-register here. You can also live stream all four presentations by following that link.

Here are the dates for each presentation in the series. They are all scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m.

  • March 27 - Swift Current - Innovation Plex Auditorium - 'Resilience: Innovation in a Changing Municipal Landscape' with Margot Hurlbert
  • March 30 - Weyburn - Credit Union Sparks Centre mini gym - 'A Sustainable Future' with Dan Florizone
  • April 4 - North Battleford - Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts theatre - 'Community Foundations for Sustainable Sustainability' with Ken Coates
  • April 13 - Yorkton - National Bank Convention Place at Gallagher Centre - 'The Social Side of Sustainability' with Akram Mahani