Nunavut Post

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Emails reveal how the city, Nunavut took the Iqaluit water problem


Key takeaways: 

  • Documents show disputes over messaging, strange spill at Geraldine Lake.
  • Hundreds of citizens lined up to gather bottled water in downtown Iqaluit after city officials gave a do-not-consume mandate on the city’s tap water on Oct. 15, 2021. 

The Iqaluit’s water crisis and Nunavut’s control over it: 

Emails between the City of Iqaluit and the Nunavut Health unit team show a disagreement overreacting to the capital’s water crisis the prior year.

Some 8,000 Iqaluit citizens couldn’t consume tap water for about two months after it was polluted with fuel.

In January, trace quantities of fuel were also seen when citizens again reported stinking it in the water.

The city and Health department encountered hindrances in co-ordinating a reply as questions emerged regarding what was and wasn’t safe with the water, revealing the emails received by The Canadian Press under Nunavut’s access-to-information ruling.

The emails show an emergency session early in the afternoon of Oct. 12 before a do-not-consume ruling was given about 6 p.m.

Also read: Koe stays unbeaten at the Brier with a victory over Howard

Nunavut residents tackled the Iqaluit water crisis

The city issued a list of often asked queries about the water the following day.

“We took a lot of warmth today for not bringing the FAQs out earlier, and we are expecting that scheduled messages will be useful,” Amy Elgersma, the city’s chief administrative officer, reported to the health team on the night of Oct. 13.

Debate on cleaning tanks

Some Iqaluit citizens have water piped straight to them, while others have city trucks delivering water kept in tanks inside their residences.

The FAQs discussed whether citizens who relied on trucked water were required to wash their tanks before the city supplied them with river water.

The city stated no. The health department advised there wasn’t sufficient proof to draw that conclusion.

Source –

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