The goal of Southern Forest Water Futures (SFWF) Project is explore how Southeastern Canadian forests will respond to future climate change, extreme weather events and management/disturbance activities. This region contains ~22 per cent of the world’s freshwater. It is home to ~8.5 million Canadians (23% of the total population), ~30.7 million Americans (10% of the total population) and is a major driver of the Canadian economy. Extensive land use changes and forest management and agricultural activities in the region are rapidly changing and constraining water resources.
Southern Forests Water Futures Project strives to improve our understanding of biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles in both conifer and deciduous forests in the region and to develop management strategies that can enhance sustainable development of forest water resources and improve forest’s resilience to negative impacts of climate change. This project will provide knowledge, tools and techniques for users and stakeholders across a range of sectors to better manage forest ecosystems and water resources. It will help in developing the next-generation of ecosystem and hydrologic models used in Canadian regional and global climate models to predict future climate and hydrologic regimes, and formulate appropriate climate change mitigation and adaptation plans to secure water resources in the region and beyond.
Project is truly multi-disciplinary with researcher team having expertise in micrometeorology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, stable isotopes geochemistry, dendrochronology, geophysics, remote sensing and ecosystem and hydrologic modelling and involvement of provincial and federal government researchers, conservation authorities, community groups and international organizations. Southern Forests Water Futures Project will contribute to the overarching vision Global Water Futures (GWF) Program to provide risk management solutions to manage water futures in Canada and other cold regions where global warming is changing landscapes, ecosystems, and the water environment.