Agriculture Adaptation Project

Date Posted

One of the Worst Natural Disasters in Canada

The Agricultural Drought Adaptation project is the first work to comprehensively assess the severity, area and duration of past droughts across Canada. It is also the first work to estimate the characteristics of future droughts, and to extensively document and categorize current adaptations, as well as drought adaptation dynamics across Canada.

canola field

Project Benefits 

  • Improving information to characterize the nature of droughts
  • Aiding in developing actions to reduce vulnerability to droughts
  • Building more effective adaptation


  • The 2001-2002 drought was a rare cross-Canada extreme drought. In the 105 years analyzed, only the summer of 1914 had similar droughts of the same magnitude in all areas as did 2001.
  • Climate change scenarios indicate that the worst droughts on record, including the 2001-2002 drought, may be frequently exceeded in the future.
  • In the Prairie provinces, the most frequently mentioned adaptation options were those for crops and livestock, followed by water and economics.
  • Barriers to adaptation to drought in Canada were documented, including lack of knowledge of water supplies and water use, as well as lack of funds and research.

Additional Resources

The Agricultural Drought Adaptation synthesis report and project reports are available upon request.