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Case Studies
Water Management Associations
Research Project Studies Cultural, Economic Impacts of Ice Loss
In a recent study published in Limnology and Oceanography Letters, University of Minnesota researcher Lesley Knoll and colleagues report on the cultural impacts of ice loss on inland lakes and rivers. With warmer winters, events of socioeconomic and cultural importance – such as ice fishing tournaments, cross-country skiing and ice-skating races – are increasingly being canceled. 

The loss of ice currently affects 14,800 lakes and impacts cultural ecosystem services – such as food subsistence, transportation, religious ceremonies and recreational opportunities – in surrounding communities.

For example, ice roads serve 49 remote First Nations communities in northern Ontario and Manitoba, often connecting communities in the north to those in the south. These winter ice roads are crucial for social, mental health and financial reasons. However, across Canada, the opening of ice roads has been delayed, at times, by as much as three weeks. 

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On the Verge of Water Wars - China, India and Pakistan are just a few countries facing critical water issues in the 21st century. Of all the water on earth, 97 per cent is salt water and the remaining three per cent is fresh, with less than one per cent of the planet's drinkable water readily accessible for direct human uses. The areas where water scarcity is the biggest problem are some of the same places where political conflicts are common.

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