GN ends Iqaluit water shortage state of emergency

City now has ‘necessary’ approvals for new water pumping efforts, says GN

The Government of Nunavut has ended a state of emergency over Iqaluit’s water shortage. The state of emergency was declared on Aug. 18 to help expedite pumping efforts to replenish Lake Geraldine, the city’s water reservoir, before winter. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Iqaluit’s state of emergency over its water shortage was to  end at midnight Tuesday, the Government of Nunavut announced.

“I am ending the State of Emergency as Iqaluit has the approvals necessary to expedite the replenishing of the water reservoir,” said Community and Government Services Minister Joanna Quassa in a media release on Tuesday.

On Aug. 18, the territorial government declared a state of emergency in the city to help expedite pumping efforts to replenish the city’s water reservoir, Lake Geraldine, before winter.

The lake is a naturally replenishing reservoir that has been depleted in recent years due to low precipitation levels. Since 2018, the city has been forced to pump more water into it from Apex River and Unnamed Lake.

Because water levels in Lake Geraldine are so low, the city required a new licence to allow it to pump more water into the lake than its current licence allows. 

The GN’s statement did not say whether if the city now has a new licence, but the release sent by communications specialist Suleikha Duale did say that “with the objective of the declaration achieved, the city now has the necessary regulatory approvals and assets to initiate pumping operations.”

On Aug. 25, Iqaluit city councillors on the city’s engineering and public works committee recommended that the city should permanently pump water from Unnamed Lake to replenish its water supply. 

Iqaluit city council enacted its own local state of emergency declaration on Aug. 12, giving the municipality powers it doesn’t ordinarily have to help it deal with the situation. The GN statement did not say whether or not the city’s state of emergency is still in place. The City has not issued a public statement about its local state of emergency since Aug. 12, when it was enacted.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Interesting on

    Oh so is the water emergency issue resolved? Or was this just theatre for the over reaching Nunavut Water Board?

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Not sure what you’re on about. The Water Board didn’t overreach they simply responded to the City’s request for an amendment to their existing water license which was then approved by the relevant federal Minister. Despite what you may think, nothing has been resolved but as all the necessary approvals are now in place to permit pumping the state of emergency is no longer necessary.


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