OTTAWA, March 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq and the Honourable J. Michael Miltenberger announced a new cooperative water-monitoring agreement between the Government of Canada and the Northwest Territories. The Memorandum of Agreement on Hydrometric Monitoring advances understanding of the ongoing collection, processing, publication and distribution of water-quantity data in the Northwest Territories.
This new agreement 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.
The Government of Canada has built an extensive network of water-monitoring infrastructure to enhance the use of the Northwest Territories' water resources. 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.
- Similar partnerships exist between the Government of Canada and all of the provinces and territories. Collectively, these bilateral agreements establish the framework for the national network of more than 2,500 water-quantity monitoring stations. These stations provide valuable information that helps to protect and conserve Canada's water supplies.
- This renewed program includes advancements in monitoring approaches that were introduced since the signing of the original agreement with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (then Indian Affairs) and Northern Development Canada in 1975. It also offers the structure and flexibility to ensure that all partners are provided with a hydrometric monitoring service that supports public health and safety, economic development and the sustainability of our natural environment.
- Real-time data used in flood forecasting helps Canadians, including emergency management officials, take appropriate preparedness measures to limit damage from floods.
"Our Government has established a new cooperative framework with the Northwest Territories to continue providing accurate and timely information that promotes greater environmental sustainability and supports the economic and social development of the North. This agreement will help develop a greater understanding of water availability and distribution within the territory and contribute information to flood management, ecosystem protection and infrastructure design."
– The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Minister for the Arctic Council
"As Minister responsible for the management of water resources in the Northwest Territories, I am pleased that the signing of this agreement will enable the seamless continuation and enhancement of ongoing water quantity monitoring across the territory. Information regarding the availability, variability and distribution of water resources is important to communities, scientists and decision-makers, both in the Northwest Territories and across Canada."
– The Honourable J. Michael Miltenberger, Northwest Territories' Minister of Finance and Minister of Environment and Natural Resources
For more information, please visit Environment Canada's National Hydrometric Program website.
SOURCE Environment Canada
For further information: Ted Laking, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of the Environment, 819-997-1441; Media Relations, Environment Canada, 819-934-8008