The GNWT and Government of Canada have resumed long-term water quality monitoring at two key sites in the NWT and two sites in northern Alberta. Resumption of field activities in the region by Environment and Climate Change Canada is scheduled in September.
The collaboration between governments will allow for monitoring to resume in Alberta on the Peace River at Peace Point and the Slave River at Fitzgerald. Within the NWT, monitoring will resume at ECCC’s long-term water quality monitoring sites on the Hay River near the Alberta-NWT border and on the Slave River Above the Mouth.
Shane Thompson, Minister of ENR states that as the ultimate downstream jurisdiction in the Mackenzie River Basin, the NWT relies on a network of long-term monitoring sites to detect changes in the water and potential impacts from activities upstream.
“Working with ECCC to resume monitoring at these four important sites will help us answer residents’ questions about the health of the water flowing across our border, and help ensure the waters of the NWT remain clean, abundant and productive for all time.”
Provincial monitoring in Alberta has already resumed, as has long-term federal monitoring at important sites on the Athabasca River. Water quality monitoring in the NWT has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with only slight delay.
The GNWT notes that long-term monitoring provides a record of changes over time, and will help detect differences and trends in water quality flowing from Alberta into the NWT.
NWT MP Michael McLeod says that Canada’s freshwater is one of it’s most precious natural resources and it deserves protection for present and future generations.
“Our Government is committed to working with other orders of government to achieve that goal.”
Water samples collected will be analyzed at Taiga Environmental Laboratories in Yellowknife and will also be distributed to Government of Canada-designated laboratories for further analysis.
Results will be released on the Environment and Natural Resources website as they become available.