GN declares state of emergency over Iqaluit water shortage

City declared its own emergency last week over low water levels in Lake Geraldine

The Government of Nunavut has declared a state of emergency over Iqaluit’s water shortage to expedite pumping efforts to replenish Lake Geraldine, the city’s water reservoir, before winter. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Government of Nunavut has declared a state of emergency in Iqaluit over the city’s water shortage.

The government announced the emergency in a news release Friday, a week after the City of Iqaluit declared its own emergency over low water levels its reservoir, Lake Geraldine.

The move is intended to speed up approvals that will allow for water pumping to replenish the reservoir.

The city plans to apply for an amendment to its water licence which will allow it to pump water from Unnamed Lake into Apex River, and to pump more water than it’s currently allowed from Apex River into Lake Geraldine.

Joanna Quassa, the territory’s acting minister of community and government services said the government is working closely with the city and will provide equipment to support the pumping operation.

“I am declaring this emergency to ensure the City of Iqaluit can access the necessary regulatory approvals and begin replenishing their water reservoir without delay,” Quassa said.

“We are committed to working with the City of Iqaluit to ensure water levels will meet the needs of the residents of Iqaluit through the upcoming winter.”

The state of emergency will take effect immediately and remain in place until Sept. 1.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Lets get a few things fixed…… on

    Before you go telling people to conserve water lets address a couple things:
    – Plan to do utilidor replacement/excavation in the summer not February….
    – New/replacement utilidor leave above ground.
    -Proactively apply for water licence to pump from unnamed lake, instead of trying to force it via a state of emergency
    -Questions City Staff at council meetings for the benefit of the public
    – Show up to meetings about major water projects. The last council session on the options to deal with our water shortage only 2 councillors showed up not enough for quorum…..

  2. Posted by Maq-Pat on

    State of Emergency seems the wrong tool here. A State of Emergency allows land to be seized, money to be spent without normal approvals and people to be conscripted. There must be better ways to navigate the regulatory process.

  3. Posted by 867 on

    I read somewhere that iqaluit uses more water per house than almost any city in canada. Maybe time we start metering water and cutting off those that use too much. Just look at what vegas is doing to the Colorado River.

    • Posted by Math on

      This is simple math if houses are overcrowded then of course you will use more water then the avg family elsewhere

  4. Posted by Truestory on

    Seems like all political meat heads are related in someway. Clyde River didn’t report the oil spill, Iqaluit is always on emergency now. Nunavut needs a complete overhaul. Including, N.I.R.B., and Q.I.L.. why is it like this now?

  5. Posted by SimpleInukMan on

    why just decide to begin pumping just now and not earlyer ?
    so late in the season? its like,.. hey lets wait until water freeze,pipe and hose burst and pumps break in -5 degree so that it become a big probleme
    to pump water in the cold when we could have done it 3 months earlyer
    right ?

    • Posted by Colin on

      Because the city like the GN is reactionary, planning ahead for some reason is nearly impossible for the city and just like the GN,
      Being proactive, organized, planning, something that is also in short supply.
      A lot of managers and experts but too few that actually work and get things done.


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