North America, Weather/Climate

Prairie farmers struggle as drought set to become ‘among worst in Canadian history’

This year’s drought is on its way to becoming the worst the Prairies have ever recorded and the worst ever in Canada, according to John Pomeroy, Canada research chair in water resources and climate change at the University of Saskatchewan. It is already worse than a severe drought in 1961, he said.

Bonnie Allen and Theresa Kliem quote Pomeroy in a report for CBC News as saying: “It’s early to call it the most severe [drought] at this point, but it certainly has all the hallmarks of heading in that direction,” Pomeroy said.

A decade-long drought hit Saskatchewan in the 1930s, but areas like northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan were unaffected at the time, he said. “There are no areas like that now,” said Pomeroy.

The conditions extend beyond Canada, he said, with severe droughts in the western half of the United States, the Mediterranean region, Kazakhstan and Russia, as well as years of drought in Australia. 

The future for farmers remains uncertain, with predictions of more extreme droughts as well as floods.

Source: CBC News. Full report here
Photo: Richard Agecoutay/CBC News
Related: StatsCan – Impacts of the drought on crop quality indicators

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