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Article

Determining Freshwater Lake Communities’ Vulnerability to Snowstorms in the Northwest Territories

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2
Basque Centre for Climate Change, Parque Científico de UPV/EHU, 48940 Leioa, Spain
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Department of Civil Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
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Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, Montreal, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
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Bieler School of Environment, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2A7, Canada
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Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0B9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Garrote
Water 2021, 13(13), 1816; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131816
Received: 28 April 2021 / Revised: 18 June 2021 / Accepted: 22 June 2021 / Published: 30 June 2021
As the exposure to extreme snowstorms continues to change in response to a warming climate, this can lead to higher infrastructure damages, financial instability, accessibility restrictions, as well as safety and health effects. However, it is challenging to quantify the impacts associated with the combination of the many biophysical and socio-economic factors for resiliency and adaptation assessments across many disciplines on multiple spatial and temporal scales. This study applies a framework to quantitatively determine the multiple impacts of snowstorms by calculating the livelihood vulnerability index (LVI) for four exposed freshwater lake communities in Canada’s Northwest Territories using three contributing factors (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity). Results indicate that Déline is the most vulnerable community (0.67), because it has the highest exposure and one of the highest sensitivity ranks, while its ability to adapt to exposure stressors is the lowest among the communities. In contrast, Fort Resolution exhibits the lowest LVI (0.26) and has one of the highest adaptive capacities. This study emphasizes that while these freshwater communities may be exposed to snowstorms, they have different levels of sensitivity and adaptive capacities in place that influences their vulnerability to changes in hazardous snowfall conditions. The information gained from this study can help guide future adaptation, mitigation, and resiliency practices for Arctic sustainability efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptive capacity; exposure; lake-induced precipitation; snowstorms; livelihood vulnerability; sensitivity adaptive capacity; exposure; lake-induced precipitation; snowstorms; livelihood vulnerability; sensitivity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baijnath-Rodino, J.A.; Albizua, A.; Sushama, L.; Bennett, E.; Robinson, B.E. Determining Freshwater Lake Communities’ Vulnerability to Snowstorms in the Northwest Territories. Water 2021, 13, 1816. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131816

AMA Style

Baijnath-Rodino JA, Albizua A, Sushama L, Bennett E, Robinson BE. Determining Freshwater Lake Communities’ Vulnerability to Snowstorms in the Northwest Territories. Water. 2021; 13(13):1816. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131816

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baijnath-Rodino, Janine A., Amaia Albizua, Laxmi Sushama, Elena Bennett, and Brian E. Robinson 2021. "Determining Freshwater Lake Communities’ Vulnerability to Snowstorms in the Northwest Territories" Water 13, no. 13: 1816. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131816

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