Summer water source still uncertain in Arctic Canadian community

Earlier this year, a tidal surge caused salt water to flow into the community's drinking water supply. They were using this building to store fresh water for the time being. (CBC file/Stephan Inaksajak)Hamlet officials hopeful that spring run off will clear out salty water

People in Kugaaruk, Nunavut, a territory in Canada’s eastern Arctic, face uncertainty with their drinking water, months after a tidal surge pushed salt water into the community’s drinking source.

The surge happened just before freeze-up. The community built a temporary pump house upstream from the source.

It was built on ice, and continues to supply the community with fresh water. But the river breaks up in June, and the temporary pump house will have to go.

“The problem we’ll have there is that water won’t be drinkable for some time until the river flushes. We’ll have to come up with some plan to provide water to the people of Kugaaruk.”

Dinney said he spoke to Government of Nunavut officials about the upcoming problem last week.

When the ice breaks up, they plan to deliver salty water from the original source to homes for things like washing or flushing the toilet.

They’ll use snowmobiles to haul drinking water from nearby lakes or other spots on the river or collect from areas with road access.

Dinney said a similar problem happened in the community about 20 years ago. With spring runoff that year, the river managed to flush out the salt water from the drinking water source.

Dinney said he’s hopeful, and confident, that will happen again this year.

Related Story:

Kugaaruk working to restore fresh water supply, CBC News

For more northern stories from, click here.

CBC News

For more news from Canada visit CBC News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *