Discussion about climate change has raised awareness about how well or not societies are adapted to their current climate. The Task Force on Climate Adaptation of the Canadian Climate Programme Board found that some activities were well adapted to climate while others were not; although some of this adaptation was incidental rather than strategic. Most decisions about adaptation are taken in the private sector, although governments can exert a significant influence. Poorly adapted activities can result in significant social, economic and environmental costs.
For the most part, Canadian water management institutions and facilities are well adapted to the variations in climate that occur on seasonal, interannual and decade time scales. Although long-term climate change has not been factored into most designs, changes that occur in small incremental steps could probably be accounted for in long-term maintenance and replacement of systems that will also be needed due to population changes. Adaptation measures in this field include (traditional) supply management and (non-traditional) demand management.