Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Iqaluit September 26, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Iqaluit’s Lake Geraldine water reservoir now filled to the brim

“Conserving water now will reduce the chance that the pumping operation will be required next year”

COURTNEY EDGAR
The city announced that a supplementary pumping project to re-fill the Lake Geraldine reservoir with water from the Apex River is now complete. But Amy Elgersma (right), the acting chief administrative officer, reminds residents that Iqaluit's water-wise conservation campaign is still in effect. (FILE PHOTO)
The city announced that a supplementary pumping project to re-fill the Lake Geraldine reservoir with water from the Apex River is now complete. But Amy Elgersma (right), the acting chief administrative officer, reminds residents that Iqaluit's water-wise conservation campaign is still in effect. (FILE PHOTO)

Even if the City of Iqaluit’s Lake Geraldine water reservoir has now been replenished, Iqaluit residents must remain water-wise, city officials say.

Iqaluit’s acting chief administrative officer, Amy Elgersma, told city council on Tuesday, Sept. 25 that the water reservoir at Lake Geraldine reached full capacity on Sept. 16.

The city then directed workers to stop the supplementary pumping project that has re-routed water from the Apex River into Lake Geraldine since last August.

“The reservoir level has remained fairly consistent this past week at around 111.25 metres above sea level,” Elgersma said.

Heavy rainfall also helped.

“The total rain for September has been approximately 25.5 milimetres, which is actually above the highest rainfall in September for the last 10 years,” Elgersma said.

Although the city is confident the current water supply will last through the winter after freeze-up sets in, it’s important that Iqaluit residents continue to conserve water, Elgersma said.

This past July, when the city learned that falling water levels in Lake Geraldine and increased demand could lead to a potential emergency next spring, it set up a water task force, which Elgersma led.

The city also asked residents to conserve water by opting for short showers instead of baths and not washing their cars.

Since then, they have also asked residents to wash full loads of laundry instead of half-loads, and to keep pitchers of drinking water in the fridge, rather than letting the tap run until the water is cold.

Most of the leaks and bleeds in the city’s water mains have been repaired, and the rest will be fixed by the end of September, Elgersma said.

City officials believed that the city could have been losing up to 40 per cent of its water supply through breaks in its pipes.

The city estimates that these leak repairs will save about 100,000 cubic metres of water per year, Elgersma said.

Elgersma added that the city’s water demand today is at about 80 per cent of last year’s demand, due to those pipe repairs and residents conserving water.

However, at the last city council meeting, Elgersma said that the demand for water could increase over the next year by at least 352,000 cubic metres due to growth.

“Water conservation means using our limited water supply wisely and caring for it properly. Fresh, clean water is a limited resource and we all have a role to play in using it responsibly,” Elgersma said.

“Conserving water now will reduce the chance that the pumping operation will be required next year.”

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(6) Comments:

#1. Posted by Wankin in Ranking on September 26, 2018

I’d like to know about the situation in Rankin if possible. I believe it is not so good.

#2. Posted by Anne Crawford on September 27, 2018

Congratulations to the City on resolving our immediate crisis. That took coordinated effort and diligence.

As the article states, conservation remains important but we also need to see efforts put to finding new long-term water sources.

We face two questions:

When will we see a preliminary engineering report with options to avoid repeated pumping from the Apex River?

When will the Water Board hold a public hearing to allow us to understand why, how, for how long and on what terms the City needed or needs a Water License to access this emergency source?

It was right to quickly issue a one-time license. Now we need to hear our leadership outline the steps to a longer-term solution.

#3. Posted by Enforcement on September 27, 2018

So we have a fully replenished water source - awesome
We are to be water conscious- ok, makes sense
No lift on 5 minute showers - tolerable
No lift on water for recreational water usage such as vehicle washing - smart? Yes, is it being enforced? No

Decisions have been made and preventative measures are in place but until you can enforce and ensure that no companies or nobody at all for that matter, are washing vehicles when they shouldn’t be. Watching companies wait until after hours to wash their company vehicles. It’s why such extreme measures are taken like 5 minute or less showers. I’m sure a lot of people haven’t followed that rule and the city knew that asking a populous of this size, there will be people who don’t play by the rules, which is why I think our access to water should be consciously thought over before putting that water to use.

My 2 cents

#4. Posted by We will Not run out of Water on September 27, 2018

I seem to not understand this as I have been here all my life and the City put everyone in a panic over this and still having us to think to conserve water with income going to the City of Iqaluit , #2. Anne this will cost extreme cost again for the Hire of Consultants for the City to figure out again and puts us on a Conserve stage again they don’t seem to understand this issue more growth more demand , The City of Iqaluit should not accept anymore new Businesses in Iqaluit if they can’t find ways , They don’t seem to brain storm with what we need for the future , I see we will Not Run out of Water at all and still the director’s run the show who does not understand again , Tukisingintuii sivuliiqsavuutinnii .

Eye’s can see

#5. Posted by Cuppa Joe on September 27, 2018

The best part of wakin’ up,

Is Geraldine in your cup!

#6. Posted by Inuk Person on September 27, 2018

I wonder how the native microbes will react to the new ‘alien’ species that have been introduced to this lake?

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