Nunavut Post

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Iqaluit city council to fix on new source for drinking water


Key takeaways: 

  • The City council to vote on the best choice in August.
  • Iqaluit city council met Thursday to know about the capital’s chances for a new source of drinking water.
  • Council will vote in August. 
  • The city will then require to apply for a new water right with the Nunavut Water Board, a process anticipated to take at least a year.

The city of Iqaluit will require to choose a new potable water source by the end of the summer. 

At a Thursday evening meeting, council members were offered two options for what that source might be.

Since approximately 2015, alarm bells have sounded that the city’s present water reservoir— Lake Geraldine — is too small and inconsistent with meeting Iqaluit’s growing population. 

The new supply will arrive from either Unnamed Lake or the Sylvia Grinnell River. 

But Iqaluit’s chief administrative officer, Amy Elgersma, stated staff urged Unnamed Lake.

Also read: Iqaluit RCMP plans summer ATV patrols to improve public security

The city of Iqaluit will require to choose a new potable water source by the end of the summer

“We do have knowledge working with Unnamed Lake now, in 2019, where we did pull water from that water source,” said Elgersma. 

The city announced a second water crisis in 2019 when the Apex River was too low to fill Lake Geraldine. The town increased the water supply by pumping water from Unnamed Lake, approximately three kilometers from the Apex River, into Lake Geraldine. 

“It is possible to run a pipeline with minimal power needs and infrastructure compared to some of the other options,” stated Elgersma. 

Unknown Lake summer pumping 

If the city council votes to use Unnamed Lake as the water origin, they will also be required to choose the water management system. 

The proposal by city staff is a summer-only pumping operation. That would mean the city would only collect water in the summer and reserve it in a reservoir. 

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