Community Response and Engagement during Extreme Water Events in Saskatchewan, Canada and Queensland, Australia
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Technology alone cannot address the challenges of how societies, communities, and individuals understand water accessibility, water management, and water consumption, particularly under extreme conditions like floods and droughts. At the community level, people are increasingly aware challenges related to responses to and impacts of extreme water events. This research begins with an assessment of social and political capacities of communities in two Commonwealth jurisdictions, Queensland, Australia and Saskatchewan, Canada, in response to major flooding events. The research further reviews how such capacities impact community engagement to address and mitigate risks associated with extreme water events and provides evidence of key gaps in skills, understanding, and agency for addressing impacts at the community level. Secondary data were collected using template analysis to elucidate challenges associated with education (formal and informal), social and political capacity, community ability to respond appropriately, and formal government responses to extreme water events in these two jurisdictions. The results indicate that enhanced community engagement alongside elements of an empowerment model can provide avenues for identifying and addressing community vulnerability to negative impacts of flood and drought.
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