The GNWT and federal government have resumed water quality monitoring at two sites in the NWT and two in northern Alberta in the Mackenzie River Basin, according to a Wednesday press release. 

Monitoring will resume at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) sites at Hay River, Slave River, and along the Athabasca River.

This comes as water levels across the Mackenzie River Basin have been among the highest on record.

The release states that rising and sustained high water levels are expected to have a temporary impact on water quality, as soil and land particles along the riverbeds and banks are carried downstream in surface runoff. 

“As the ultimate downstream jurisdiction in the Mackenzie River Basin, the Northwest Territories relies on a network of long-term monitoring sites to detect changes in the water and potential impacts from activities upstream,” Environment and Natural Resources Minister Shane Thompson said in the release.

“Working with Environment and Climate Change Canada 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 Northwest Territories remain clean, abundant and productive for all time.”

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. 


Natalie Pressman

Natalie is a graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program. She has since held contracts working with an NGO in Vietnam and with Journalists for Human Rights in Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent...

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