Behchoko relying on trucked water to avoid ’emergency’

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Community leaders in Behchoko say it’s becoming too costly to supply water to residents in Edzo by trucking it in from a neighbouring community.

Edzo usually draws its water from the West Channel into an intake pumphouse, but in recent winters water has had to be trucked in from Rae because of low levels in the channel.

Those lower levels make it easier for water to freeze. Once that happens, water has to be trucked some 15 kilometers at a significant cost for the community government.

“The intake in that area of the channel has water being provided from Marion Lake and the North Arm of Great Slave Lake,” said Behchoko Chief Clifford Daniels.

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“Once it freezes, it freezes to the ground and there’s no flow to that channel so that limits water coming into the intake. When that happens, we have to supplement those waters by trucking.

“All that comes at an extra cost because most of the regular truck deliveries in our communities require overtime to make sure there’s adequate water.”

Edzo has had to rely on trucked water for the past four winters. Daniels says that can come at a cost of $300,000 per season for the community government.

That alone has made Daniels consider other options.

“We’re looking into ways to remedy this. We’re going to have to start looking at other alternatives like having bigger reservoirs or dredging.

“We’re lucky we have a community close enough to help one another. If it wasn’t so, this would be an emergency situation.”

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