Despite high demand for water, Iqaluit should avoid shortage this year: city administrator
Chief administrative officer says city will still encourage people to conserve water
Iqaluit continues to have a “strained” water supply, but the city should be able to avoid the kind of emergency declarations that were enacted in 2018 and 2019, the city’s chief administrative officer says.
“We are not at risk of a water shortage emergency prior to the pumping season,” Amy Elgersma told city council during a meeting Tuesday.
In an update on the water supply, she said demand for water has been “trending high” recently and levels are comparable to 2018, which was “a particularly low year” that led to the declaration of a water shortage emergency.
A similar emergency was declared the following year as well.
The recent high demand for water has been driven by a few factors. Residents and businesses flushed their pipes following last fall’s water emergency when diesel fuel contaminated the supply, there are 20 leaking pipes within the distribution system, and a recent fire at the dump put a strain on reserves.
“We are hopeful we will see a decrease in demand starting now and moving into the summer months,” Elgersma said.
While Lake Geraldine, the city’s water reservoir, replenishes itself naturally, it has been supplemented by a pumping program that draws water from the Apex River.
That program, in use since 2018, will continue this year.
“Contracts are in place and everybody is ready to go,” Elgersma said, adding the pumping season begins in early June or whenever the melt happens.
The city will continue to promote water conservation programs, including its Water Wise campaign.
“It is important that people continue to consume water and be responsible with our water use,” Elgersma said.