Nunavut declares state of emergency over water shortages in Iqaluit

Iqaluit’s drinking water reservoir, Lake Geraldine, will approach its historic minimum level on August 12, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Dustin Patar)

The Nunavut government has declared a two-week state of emergency over water shortages in Iqaluit.

Acting Minister for Community and Government Services Joanna Quassa said the aim is to ensure the city gets the regulatory approvals it needs to begin refilling the reservoirs immediately.

The city declared its own state of emergency last week due to a lack of rainfall, flowing into Iqaluit’s secondary source of water, the Apex River, which is at its lowest level in 40 years.

As a result, Lake Geraldine, which serves as Iqaluit’s reservoir, is not replenished before freezing.

The city said it was working to obtain regulatory approval to pump additional water from a nearby unnamed lake into the Apex River and then into Lake Geraldine.

Quassa said the territorial government is working closely with the city and has agreed to provide equipment to support the pumping operation.

canadian press