Deborah Harford (left), executive director of ACT, works with Surrey residents at a City Hall meeting co-hosted by ACT on sea-level rise. ACT is now a program in SFU's Pacific Water Research Centre. Photo courtesy of the City of Surrey.

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SFU’s Pacific Water Research Centre beefs up with Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT)

February 07, 2017
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By Allen Tung

SFU’s Pacific Water Research Centre (PWRC) is boosting its research capabilities, with ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team) joining the centre as one of its programs.

ACT brings leading experts together with industry, community and government decision-makers to find ways to sustainably adapt to priority climate change issues.

“Most climate change issues have water at their core,” says Deborah Harford, executive director of ACT.

“For instance, climate change magnifies the severity of extreme events such as flooding (too much water) and droughts (too little water), and both can lead to poor water quality.

“Joining the Pacific Water Research Centre is a strategic partnership that will allow us to collaborate closely and work together to advance climate change adaptation.”

SFU’s Faculty of Environment established the Pacific Water Research Centre in 2015 as a response to water challenges encountered in British Columbia, Canada and the world. The centre brings together researchers, academics and experts to look at a range of water issues, from water’s influence on communities and human wellbeing—particularly First Nations and indigenous communities, to water ethics, resource management and coastal ecosystems.

“Climate change adaptation is a major strategic priority for the PWRC,” says Zafar Adeel, PWRC’s executive director.

“We’re delighted to welcome ACT. They bring a decade of specialization in all aspects of climate change adaptation, including community engagement and innovative research, as well as publication of highly respected and well-received policy reports and other resources.”

ACT joins PWRC from SFU’s School of Public Policy where it had been housed since its founding in 2006. An interdisciplinary program, ACT will continue its collaboration with the public policy school and a number of other SFU departments and schools.