Overview of CH Research Interests
There are currently some 52 University of Saskatchewan faculty members associated directly with CH, and many more research associates and graduate students. Hydrologists are to be found in the following departments:
- Department of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering (soil-water relationships)
- Biology (aquatic ecology)
- Civil and Geological Engineering (soil hydrology, groundwater, modelling, hydraulics)
- Computer Science (modelling)
- Geography and Planning (GIS, remote sensing, rivers, hydrological processes, modelling)
- Geology (groundwater, geochemistry, isotopes)
- Soil Science (soil hydrology, water chemistry)
- School of Environment and Sustainability (aquatic ecosystems)
We additionally have very close links with Environment Canada's Water Science & Technology Directorate through the National Hydrology Research Centre, which is immediately adjacent to the campus, and at which a number of faculty members are based. Other links also exist with the Saskatchewan Research Council and the Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative.
Current CH research includes - among others - studies of the following topics:
Hydrology and Climate
Research on global water and energy cycling, hydrometeorology, hydrology in climate and weather models, snow and ice dynamics, hydrological modelling, climate change impacts on water resources.
Water Resources of Western and Northern Canada
Research on the water resources of the major river basins of western and northern Canada, water management, drought, wetlands, groundwater, cumulative effects assessment, soil water relationships, plant-water relationships, forest hydrology, cold regions hydrology.
Hydroecology and Water Quality
The interactions and interdependencies between plants, animals and the hydrologic systems which form an intrinsic part of their habitats has emerged as a major focus of interdisciplinary science, particularly in the context of increased pressures on the natural environment as a result of both development and climate change. This field also includes research on drinking water supplies, aquatic ecology, agricultural water quality, water pathways, pollutant effects on aquatic ecosystem health, and the development of software tools to relate changes in water quality and quantity to human development.
Effects of the Mining Sector on Water Resources
Research on mine reclamation with respect to water quality and quantity on uranium mines, oilsands, potash mines, pipelines, northern development. Research on the effects of the discharges of mine effluents on aquatic biota and water quality.
Snow Processes and Cold Regions Hydrology
CH has a particular interest in the field of cold regions hydrometeorology, which covers the complex interactions between atmospheric, cryospheric and hydrologic domains, and their effect on both streamflow and meteorology. Between 2006 and 2011, CH provided leadership and secretariat services for the network to Improve Processes, Parameterisation and Prediction (IP3) in this context.
Study of the causes and effects of drought in the Prairie Provinces is another area of major focus. Faculty and students played a major role in the Drought Research Initiative (DRI), active between 2005 and 2010.
Effects of Groundwater Storage on Streamflow
Groundwater abstractions are expected to increase dramatically in response to pressures on, and regulation of, surface water resources: however, the influence of changes in sub-surface storage on streamflow is not well understood, and research in this area is required to assist with the management of this vital resource.