City of Iqaluit Declares Local State of Emergency
August 12, 2022 – Iqaluit, Nunavut
- The Iqaluit City Council has declared a local state of emergency due to a water shortage
- Iqaluit has experienced a lack of precipitation this summer.
- Despite current pumping efforts from the Apex River, under the current conditions, Lake Geraldine will not be replenished prior to freeze-up.
- The Apex River is at a 40-year historic low.
- The City is moving forward with the necessary actions to gain regulatory approval to pump more water from the Apex River and from an additional source (“Unnamed” Lake), which has previously been used as a water source.
- Pumping from the additional source is expected to take 40 days, concluding no later than October 15, 2022.
On August 12, 2022, The Iqaluit City Council declared a local state of emergency.
Iqaluit has experienced a lack of precipitation this summer and flows in the Apex River – the City's secondary resupply source –are at a 40-year historic low. Under the current conditions, the City of Iqaluit's reservoir may not have enough water, by freeze-up, to sustain the community over winter.
As a result, the City is moving forward with the necessary regulatory steps to obtain Approval.
Approval will permit the City to:
- Pump additional volumes of water from the Apex River, beyond its current licenced amount; and
- Pump from an additional water source, not currently included in its licence (Unnamed Lake). Unnamed Lake was used as an additional source in 2019.
If approved, this amendment will permit the City to address the water shortage emergency by pumping from Unnamed Lake to the Lake Geraldine Water Reservoir, via the Apex River.
The Unnamed Lake is approximately 3.5km north of the Apex River pumping site. The City will use the existing road, created in 2019, for the transport of equipment and supplies, in preparation for pumping activities. Concurrently, the City will be installing temporary infrastructure consisting of hoses and pumps, which will allow the City to pump water to the Apex River at a location upstream of the current semi-permanent intake site. The current intake site will be used to pump the water from the Apex River to the Lake Geraldine Water Reservoir. The City is anticipating pumping in excess of 500 million litres of water.
The pumping will begin once regulatory approval is granted and is expected to take 40 days, depending on rainfall. It is anticipated to be finished once the reservoir is full and no later than October 15.
The additional measures to fill the reservoir have no impact on the quality of the City’s drinking water. The City of Iqaluit’s drinking continues to meet or is better than all Territorial requirements and the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.
The City would like to remind residents of the importance of conserving water, whenever possible. Additionally, residents are reminded that there is still a car wash ban in effect.
On April 1, federal funding in excess of $214 million was announced through the Disaster and Mitigation Adaptation Fund to ensure the safety and long-term sustainability of Iqaluit’s water supply system. This project will provide additional capacity to meet the current and projected drinking water needs of the City include a new water source, a new reservoir adjacent to Lake Geraldine for additional storage and improvements to the City’s water distribution system. This project will significantly improve resident’s access to a sustainable, reliable water source The City is currently in the planning stages for this project.
Communications and Customer Service Manager
City of Iqaluit
867-979-5607 | email@example.com