The governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories announced a new cooperative water-monitoring agreement, which will help advance the understanding of the ongoing collection, processing, publication, and distribution of water-quantity data in the territory.
The Memorandum of Agreement on Hydrometric Monitoring allocates $2.8 million for the territory’s hydrometric-monitoring program, which will be supported by Environment Canada and the Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources, with a portion covered by commercial contributions. Similar partnerships exist between Canada and all of the provinces and territories. Collectively, these bilateral agreements establish the framework for the national network of more than 2,500 monitoring stations, and these stations provide valuable information to protect and conserve Canada’s water supplies.
Historic water-level data collection contributes to scientific studies, ecosystem protection, infrastructure design, and policy development. Real-time data is essential for flood and drought forecasting, as well as for many industrial processes, river transportation, and electricity generation.
The Northwest Territories network of approximately 95 water-quantity monitoring stations has been co‑managed by Environment Canada and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada since 1975. With the Northwest Territories Devolution Act receiving royal assent on March 25, 2014, the transfer of responsibilities for land and water resources management from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories took effect on April 1, 2014.