Brock experts weigh in on drought and heat

With much of Ontario under a heat warning from Environment Canada, and widespread drought conditions, Brock University has a number of experts available to discuss the implications.

Professor Steven Renzetti is a leading expert on the economics of water. He can speak to the ongoing drought and its potential impacts on our wallets through increased food prices and water charges. The professor can discuss the implications of a long-term drought and the impact of water scarcity.

“We’re already seeing the effects of the drought. It’s affecting the timing and quality of crops. That will have an immediate impact, potentially, on the cost of produce in farmer’s markets and in grocery stores. Drought means it is more costly to do business so that can impact households.”

Professor Stephen Cheung is a Canada Research Chair who runs a research lab at Brock with the capabilities of simulating temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to +50 degrees. He can talk about the impact of extreme heat on the human body, the role hydration plays in controlling body temperatures, and the best strategies for keeping cool for athletes, workers and the general public.

“You should really be careful about heavy exercise and being out for longer than usual. Even elite athletes will be impaired in the heat so you shouldn’t be expecting the same type of endurance that you may have, no matter how fit you are.”

Julia Baird is a research associate at Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre whose research focuses on environmental governance in relation to water resources and climate change. She can discuss the resilience of farmers and the social and environmental systems in place to help endure droughts and other climate-related disturbances.

“Indications are that these disturbances are just going to become more common and more severe over time with climate change. There are ways you can prepare for these things so you are better able to withstand or endure.”

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