WINNIPEG — The federal government has announced funding that will establish ClimateWest, a non-profit hub for climate services in Western Canada.
Over three years, officials will spend $1.95 million developing a regional hub based in Winnipeg to service Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Officials explained ClimateWest will provide customized and accessible regional climate information, data, tools and training to equip communities, businesses and governments to handle climate change issues.
Some of the main areas of focus for the hub will be agriculture, Indigenous communities, rural communities, businesses and local government.
Officials noted the hub’s goal of knowledge sharing and data mobilization will make accessing cutting-edge climate science simpler.
Information from ClimateWest can support adaptation efforts like the following:
- Municipal engineers taking climate adaptation into account in infrastructure standards, like culvert size and storm-water design to reduce flooding impacts.
- Watershed associations planning as they consider increased risk of flood and drought.
- Remote and northern communities assessing their food security due to climate change impacts on transportation and wildlife habitat.
The government stated having access to good data is key to helping communities establish resistance to the impacts of climate change.
“Regional-climate-data hubs support efforts to make all communities more resilient to extreme weather events,” said Jane Hilderman, executive director of ClimateWest, in a statement. “Better access to region-specific climate data means that businesses and individuals can better plan for the future.”