Grasslands05-scaled

Alberta Drought

The possibility of a severe Alberta drought in 2024 has been making headlines for months. 

Albertans were concerned even before below-average snowfall this past winter. Several years of dry weather in the southwest have pushed the system to the brink. Alberta has seen five droughts of varying severity since 2001 — when a multi-year drought had a big impact on the province.

The province also faced a drought last year, and this year’s winter — with too little precipitation to swell reservoirs and rivers or build sufficient snowpack on the Rockies — left many on edge.

We’re covering energy on the Prairies
The Narwhal’s Prairies bureau is here to bring you stories on energy and the environment you won’t find anywhere else. Stay tapped in by signing up for a weekly dose of our ad‑free, independent journalism.
The Narwhal’s Prairies bureau is here to bring you stories on energy and the environment you won’t find anywhere else. Stay tapped in by signing up for a weekly dose of our ad‑free, independent journalism.
We’re covering energy on the Prairies

On March 28, there were 51 water shortage advisories across the province. With some parts of the province seeing much-need precipitation by late spring, some fortunes started to turn. By May 23, that number had dropped to 19. But reservoirs were still low. 

Irrigation is the biggest consumer of water in Alberta. Oil and gas is another huge consumer, using billions of litres of water each year and often removing that water permanently from the water cycle. 

The crisis confronting Alberta isn’t limited to this summer. The province is dependent on a water supply that can’t keep pace with industrial and agricultural needs, particularly as the effects of the climate crisis arrive at alarming speed.

Heat, humidity, wildfires: what the weather report reveals about your health risks

For many Canadians, the summer months are a precious reprieve from long, cold and dark winters. Summer is for barbecues and beach days, camping and...

Continue reading
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a big story. Sign up for free →
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s reporting on the natural world.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s reporting on the natural world.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'