All communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT) now have modern water treatment plants.
This goal was originally set by federal, territorial, and community governments. As of October 5, 2020, this goal has been achieved with Wekweètì’s new water plant was approved for use.
There are no more simple truckfill stations for drinking water in the NWT. All NWT communities now have water treatment plants that include filtration.
“Modern, efficient water infrastructure is essential to ensuring the health and well-being of our communities in the Northwest Territories,” said Michael McLeod, member of parliament for the Northwest Territories. “Federal and territorial governments have been working together to make sure drinking water supplies are safe for residents. This essential infrastructure, funded through the Investing in Canada plan, are key to ensuring that our communities continue to have access to safe and reliable drinking water.”
Community governments have also made investments in their staff. All 30 NWT water plants are now operated by local residents employed by the community government. Twenty-three of the plants have certified local operators. Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) is actively working with the remaining communities to upgrade the certification of their operators and provide additional oversight while these operators are training.
Community governments utilized federal infrastructure programs to support upgrade their water treatment plants and supplement their community public infrastructure funding from the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT). The federal programs used include the:
- Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund.
- Build Canada Plan.
- Small Communities Fund.
- Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.
- Gas Tax Agreement.
“Improving the quality of water in the Northwest Territories is imperative to the North,” said Paulie Chinna, minister of municipal and community affairs. “This is a proud moment as we work in collaboration with the federal government and continue to deliver programs and support the safety and wellbeing of our residents. Our work is not done. MACA continues to work with community governments to assess their systems, plan for upgrades, and continues to support operators with ongoing training.”
The GNWT’s interdepartmental team will continue to support communities. It is committed to providing a coordinated approach that supports water systems including intake, treatment, and distribution. Ensuring access to safe drinking water for all NWT residents remains a priority.