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Science experiences

Asit Mazumder - Biology

We all need water. Clean and sustainable supplies of it are critical to the health and well-being of our communities. But what effects will climate change have on our water supplies in the coming decades? What are the health risks? What can be done now to prepare?

“Climate extremes can trigger waterborne disease outbreaks from pathogens such as E. coli, Giardia and others,” says Asit Mazumder (biology), NSERC Research Chair on Water. “This risk worsens where the landscape around a water source is being altered by agriculture, livestock farming and residential development.”

Mazumder is an international leader in the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and the implications for human health. As part of a national study on climate change and infectious disease, Mazumder and his team recently worked with stakeholders in BC’s Salmon River watershed. They developed models for predicting how various temperature and precipitation scenarios affect the entry and survival of fecal bacteria in water bodies used for drinking water.

The model framework is being used by the federal and provincial governments to assess risk and determine adaptation strategies. Mazumder’s group is now adapting the framework—which he says is the first of its kind in the world—for use by four other communities in BC.

Read more about Mazumder’s research into water quality.

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Science Matters

Science Matters

Fall 2014


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