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Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Water/Wastewater Climate Assessment

Integrating traditional knowledge to assess the threats of climate change

  • Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Ontario

    Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Ontario

Climate change presents unique challenges to infrastructure across the country. Proactively assessing these threats can make the difference.

Extreme climate events impact us all and Indigenous communities are no exception. When the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne needed to assess their water and wastewater systems, the community's unique climate data presented an opportunity. In partnership with the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC), we developed a customized version of Engineers Canada’s climate risk assessment protocol (PIEVC), specifically for First Nation communities.

The First Nations Infrastructure Resilience Toolkit incorporates traditional knowledge with an asset management approach. Through direct community engagement, this toolkit pinpoints the most impactful climate threats their infrastructure faces.

The community of Akwesasne knew stronger winds coupled with hotter and drier summers were becoming more regular. Traditional harvesting ranges shifted more each year. They advised examining climate data from the summer of 2012, helping the crew understand the full range of weather their water treatment plants need to endure. In the end, this collaboration made the toolkit more robust.

We’re currently working with OFNTSC to implement this toolkit in First Nation communities throughout Ontario.

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