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”
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.”