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The IMPC Insider
November 2020
Welcome! This is a newsletter for the Integrated Modelling Program for Canada (IMPC), one of the projects funded under the Global Water Futures Program led by the University of Saskatchewan. We are using the IMPC Insider to communicate periodically with investigators, personnel and partners about project updates, events and upcoming deadlines. You can unsubscribe at any time. 

The last edition of the IMPC Insider was in March 2020. A lot has happened since then! Due to the impact of COVID-19, the IMPC team continues to work from home as per the University of Saskatchewan's health and safety guidelines.

Third Annual Meeting

We had a successful (virtual) annual general meeting with over 200 participants across five webinars. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, some of the webinar recordings were corrupted. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and have taken steps to avoid this happening in the future. You can find all other recordings, as well as browse posters from our research, on our website

We will be offering other informational webinars about our work periodically throughout the year. A webinar featuring our model intercomparison work in the Great Lakes is scheduled for later this month.  You can register here.


Engagement Survey
IMPC has recently invited our collaborators to participate in a survey to understand more about them and their engagement with the research program. We sent our first Engagement Survey to 35 collaborators in 2018 – during the first year of IMPC – which gave us valuable insight into our partners’ preferences. The number of our collaborators has since increased to 104.

IMPC envisions collaborators as part of the research process, with the resulting outcomes and tools addressing questions posed by end-users. This isn’t always an easy process, and we have done a lot of learning over the first 3 years of the program. If you'd like to participate in this survey, you can do so at

Core Modelling Webinar Series

Our team works very closely with the Global Water Future Core Modelling team. To learn more about some of the great work occurring under this team, check out the ongoing Core Modelling webinar series
Some Work Package Snapshots
We are in year one of Phase II (2020-2023) of the research program
Water Quality Modelling (A3)

The team is developing a WASP model for the Lower South Saskatchewan and main stem of the Saskatchewan River to determine the impact of flow regulation on sediment transport into the Saskatchewan River Delta, particularly between E.B. Campbell dam and Cumberland House. Climate change scenarios have been carried out using the algal-nutrient component of the Lake Diefenbaker model. The next step involves simulating the same scenarios for sediment transport and mixing in the lake.
River Ice Modelling (A4)

The team has set up a running river ice model RIVICE for the upper reaches of the Saint John River (between Fort Kent and Grand Falls). A MESH model of the Saint John River, with the outlet at the Mactaquac Dam is also ready. Changes in the river’s ice phenology are currently being investigated to help forecast mid-winter breakup and ice-jam flooding, using a MESH-RIVICE coupling.
Modelling Intercomparison (A5)

In the Nelson-Churchill, the team meets regularly to share information about model setup progress amongst participating partners. To join the meetings, email Hervé. To find out the latest updates for the Great Lakes, check out the webinar on Nov 23 - register here!
Analysis of Extremes (A6)

In a new paper published in Advances in Water Resources, the team reveals the limitations of the most commonly used distribution for flood frequency analysis across Canada. They also introduced BrIII and BrXII as consistent alternative distributions. Additionally, the team developed an R package “LMoFit | Advanced L-Moment Fitting of Distributions” that implements the previously proposed alternative distributions in frequency analysis. LMoFit will soon be on CRAN.
Water Management Modelling (B1)

Several updates to the basin-scale water resources management model for the Saskatchewan River Basin (SRB) have been made including implementation of the 1969 Master Agreement on Apportionment, the International Joint Commission 1921 Order to manage water sharing for the St. Mary River, and integration of the Manitoba portion of the SRB. In Manitoba, the team is extending the modelling framework into the Winnipeg, Red and Assiniboine River systems. 
Environmental Flows (B2)

The team produced naturalized flow presumptive standards (sustainable boundaries) for 35 sites in Alberta and Saskatchewan using naturalized flows and future flows produced by MESH. Next, the team will update these standards using a third version of MESH simulations and will use these data to calculate hydrologic metrics using Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA). Calculated metrics will provide additional insight into the implications of future flows for ecological structure and function of river sites.
Hydro-Economic Modelling (B3)

The inter-regional hydro-economic model developed for the Saskatchewan River Basin (SRB) is coupled with the water resources management model (B1) to create an integrated hydro-economic model.  Model reliability was tested for dry (e.g. 2009, 2015) and wet (e.g. 2013, 2014) years. The model is now being used to assess the economic vulnerability of the SRB to water stress scenarios. A second and third paper from this work is under development.
Decision Analysis (C2)

As part of future scenario work, the team is generating stochastic weather scenarios of future climatic changes in the Saskatchewan River Basin. Variables produced include daily precipitation and maximum and minimum temperature. The scenarios could be used for stress testing various aspects of the current management systems in the face of future changes. Currently, the team is assessing the vulnerability of the Master Agreement on Apportionment.
User Engagement (D1)

COVID-19 continues to challenge in-person events with Cumberland House, and the team has opted to host virtual meetings called "Delta Dialogues" instead. These meetings occur periodically with varied participation from communities in the Saskatchewan River Delta, Saskpower, among other partners. The next one is scheduled for Dec 1. Read more here
Updates for IMPC Investigators
  • Global Water Futures is in the midst of preparing for the midterm review of the program by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). This will begin on November 30. As part of this effort, we have requested Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) across the program submit metadata records to populate an online metadata platform. Download the template here
  • IMPC has a Microsoft Teams channel. We are in the process of integrating our material onto the platform and using it to share and collaborate over files, host video or audio meetings, and work more closely with HQP.
  Upcoming Deadlines
  • Nov 30, 2020: Submit project metadata
Other News and Project Updates
Water Economy under a changing climate in the Saskatchewan River Basin

PhD student studies how a changing climate and mitigative policies can impact the water economy in the Saskatchewan River Basin.  Read more…
IMPC introduces Dr. Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt as the new Co-Principal Investigator for the project

Dr. Lindenschmidt joins Dr. Saman Razavi as lead Co-principal investigator just as Phase II of the program kicks in.  Read More…
Copyright © 2020, Integrated Modelling Program for Canada, All rights reserved.

You can contact us at: (Principal Investigator) (Co-Principal Investigator) (Program Manager) (Engagement and Policy Research Analyst)

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