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Health, Coping Strategies, & Adaptation to Drought- Driven Poor Air Quality in Saskatchewan
  • Krishna Kolen,
  • Corinne Schuster-Wallace,
  • Krystopher Chutko
Krishna Kolen
Department of Geography & Planning, University of Saskatchewan

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Corinne Schuster-Wallace
Department of Geography & Planning, University of Saskatchewan
Krystopher Chutko
Department of Geography & Planning, University of Saskatchewan


As greenhouse gas emissions increase worldwide, the planet is continuing to warm, changing water amounts and timing. Drought frequency in Canada is expected to increase due to glacier retreat, decreased duration of seasonal snow cover, earlier snow melt, and changing precipitation, along with resulting conditions such as dust storms and wildfires. The predicted increase in drought conditions and resulting exposures to poor air quality demonstrates the importance of researching the impacts of drought conditions on human health, coping methods, and adaptation strategies in the Canadian context due to the relatively few existing studies. This study will look at the wider impacts of drought on the health of Saskatchewan populations as well as coping strategies and adaptation methods of Indigenous groups in Saskatchewan in the face of drought conditions. Studying marginalized communities, such as Indigenous communities who face specific exposures due to their ties to the land, is essential because these communities are likely to experience significant structural barriers and limits to their adaptation given drought impacts. It is important to work with Indigenous communities to understand place-based impacts and culturally appropriate adaptation strategies to inform policy and practice. This project aims to answer the following questions using a coupled human and environment approach of assessing meteorological drivers of drought-induced poor air quality on health:
  1. What are the relationships between health impacts and air quality conditions associated with droughts in Saskatchewan over a 12-year period (2010-2022)? and;
  2. How have individuals in Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan experienced and been impacted by drought conditions, including coping and adaptation responses implemented by these communities resulting from adverse air quality?
The outcomes of this project are to understand the weather conditions that exacerbate air quality as a result of drought to better inform early warning systems and to enhance knowledge, particularly in a Saskatchewan First Nations context, for evidence informed policies, education, and awareness.
10 Dec 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
11 Dec 2023Published in ESS Open Archive