Drinking Water in the NWT

Source Water Protection – Keeping NWT Water Clean

Source water protection refers to protecting the basic sources of our water, the fresh water in rivers and lakes that are so abundant and important to life in the NWT. Ensuring water is protected at the source is the first important step in the NWT’s multi-barrier approach and this step includes:

Community Water Licensing

  • Issued to communities and developments that may impact the water source.
  • Regulates the amount of water taken from a source.
  • Outlines the steps necessary to help prevent harmful materials from entering the source.

Testing of Source Water Quality

  • Provides advance warning of any problems, allowing for quick action if needed.
  • Checks effectiveness of water protection activities, helping to identify treatment requirements.
  • Increases awareness and public and stakeholder confidence that their source water is safe.

Coordinated Watershed Decision-Making

  • Different agencies and levels of government are responsible for decision-making that affect drinking water sources.
  • Results in the protection of drinking water sources in an organized and efficient manner.

Effective Legislation

  • Ensures that minimum standards for protection are in place and enforceable, helping to protect public health.
  • Helps regulators and officials enforce standards related to keeping water clean.

Public Education

  • Ensures that the public understands how their activities and decisions affect their drinking water.