GN ends Iqaluit water shortage state of emergency
City now has ‘necessary’ approvals for new water pumping efforts, says GN
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.