Climate change is impacting precipitation patterns. There will be more intense storms happening more often, but also longer drought periods. Concerns about water quality, droughts and conserving water are important worries for the Sackville community. The summer of 2020 saw very little rain, making it challenging to grow abundant crops, feed and water livestock, and keep wells from going dry.

1. Monitor water quality

Currently EOS Eco-Energy and its Chignecto Watersheds Committee oversees the monitoring of surface water quality in the watersheds in and around Sackville. Water quality is important for the long- term health of residents, and supports healthy and safe tourism, recreation and business activities. Local residents can take part in citizen science initiatives to monitor sites and contribute to expanding our knowledge of our local watersheds. A Silver Lake Association could be formed to help monitor and ensure the health of Silver Lake. Monitoring trends over time is important as climate change will impact water quality and quantity.

Find out more about the Chignecto Watershed Committee and how you can participate at: https://eosecoenergy.com/en/projects/chignecto-watersheds-committee/

2. Develop an integrated watershed management plan

An Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP) is a guiding document for use by landowners, governments, planners, and all other stakeholders in a watershed. It sets out common goals and objectives for the long-term management of land and water resources in the basin. EOS Eco-Energy, the Chignecto Watersheds Committee, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Nature NB, and other stakeholders and experts could collaborate on this plan.

3. Perform home water use audits

A great idea is to create a community-based program similar to Reep Green Solutions’ home water use audits. The program could offer a free service to evaluate your household’s water efficiency and check for possible fixture leaks and related water issues. It could provide high efficiency shower heads, shower timers, faucet aerators, possibly low-flow toilets, etc. to qualifying local homes and businesses. If EOS Eco-Energy could find funding, it could coordinate this program.

3. Rain barrels

Climate change is changing precipitation patterns and we see longer drought periods followed by intense rain events. Collecting water when it is raining is one way to deal with water shortages during drought periods. Community-based rain barrel giveaways and bulk purchase deals are great ways to promote water conservation. Having multiple rain barrels can help us water our gardens during the dry spells. EOS Eco-Energy has coordinated rain barrel bulk purchases, giveaways and DIY workshops and should look to offer more in the future.

To find out more about rain barrels visit: water-conservation-flyer-final-2014

EOS Eco-Energy empowers residents, communities and municipal governments to be more sustainable and adapt to climate change. We use community-based tools and approaches that result in tangible action and improvements at the local level while supporting the local economy. Things like bulk purchases allow residents to save money by ordering together. Bulk orders provide an easy incentive for environmental action and show the power of community despite few if any government rebates or incentives. – EOS Eco-Energy

4. Adapt to drought conditions

How can we grow things during droughts, what options are there for drought-tolerant landscaping and vegetable gardening? What seeds are best selected for drought tolerance? Hot dry weather can also see ponds, rivers and lakes develop algae blooms toxic to humans, animals and livestock. Public education is needed. Having irrigation ponds dry up may require digging new wells in order to water farm fields. Workshops on soil health, regenerative agriculture and permaculture can provide some ways to adapt.

Continue reading: Flood Risk