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Let's march for the climate and for our rivers!

Groupe de personne qui se mobilise pour une cause Thomas De Luze Unsplash

September 24 is a global meeting to express the urgency of climate action. The last UN report is clear: we are heading towards a climate disaster if we stick to the timid commitments already made by countries. We are close to a point of no return in the rise in average global temperature and considerable resulting damage is already being felt. At Fondation Rivières, we are already observing them in the field.

Between low water and floods

Climate change constitutes disturbances of balance and Canada, especially in the North, is warming faster than the rest of the planet. However, these disruptions are such that it will be increasingly difficult to respond to their scale.

Our rivers suffer from this by crossing two hydrological extremes, sometimes during the same year.

Spectacular overflows
Overflow of the Rivière des Prairies in Cartierville in 2017. Source: Indrid Cold

The change in precipitation regime as well as the acceleration of snowmelt has brought its share of spring floods in recent years. Let us remember the Saguenay in 1996, the Richelieu River in 2011, or even the Rivière des Prairies in 2017. We can no longer be content with simply avoiding construction in flood zones, but we must act vigorously to combat coastal erosion. Quebec is clearly not adapted to a new climatic regime which may include extreme flooding. This year around the world, we were also able to observe them in Germany, India, China and the United States. What are we risking next year?

In addition, current developments with soil sealing and excessive drainage affect the resilience of our rivers in the face of these changes. Without adequate vegetation or soil to filter and contain water, sewer networks and the rivers are more worn to overflowing. We must therefore rethink our relationship with land use planning and riparian areas in order to minimize flooding.

Low water, climate and falling river levels

The opposite phenomenon occurs in summer: the lowest points of water levels, i.e. low water, will become more important following increased water evaporation and summer droughts. The rivers and the Saint-Laurent have experienced a worrying decline this year and aquatic ecosystems are affected.

Indeed, during extreme low water, the drop in water level reaches records, the flow becomes minimal, and fish and other living beings in the riparian and river ecosystem become exposed to water that is too low and too hot. , too sunny, with higher concentrations of contaminants. And it goes without saying that sources of drinking water and our activities which depend on the river are thus undermined.

Walk with us!

It is time to intervene quickly for climate justice, but also for our waterways so that the natural regimes of rivers take over. Join us to make your voice heard.

The march in Montreal as part of the global climate strike will begin at 1 p.m., in front of the Monument to Sir George-Étienne Cartier. We'll see each other there?

To learn more about Laura and Yasmine’s expedition on the Moisie River


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