Monitoring cumulative effects to water quality: An NWT Pilot Study
Principal Investigator: Coles, Anna (2)
Licence Number: 16736
Organization: Government of the Northwest Territories
Licensed Year(s): 2022 2021 2020
Issued: Jul 29, 2020
Project Team: Dion Kelly, Anna Coles, Lorraine Brekke

Objective(s): To collect water quality data from regionally-representative lakes that can inform resource management decisions on cumulative impacts within the NWT.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.4805.

The objective of this project is to collect water quality data from regionally-representative lakes that can inform resource management decisions on cumulative impacts within the Northwest Territories (NWT).

Using a computer program we will select 30 lakes within the Daring Lake area based on expected impacts of human and natural disturbances. We will access these lakes with a float plane, and collect water samples in the center of the lake off the floats of the plane. As well as taking water samples, at each site we will measure key water quality properties such as pH, dissolved oxygen and conductivity. Each site will be sampled once during July 2020, Sept 2020 and March 2021. The water samples will be delivered to the Taiga Environmental Laboratory so that they can be analyzed.

In June-July 2020, the research team will discuss this project with its stakeholders. Discussions will take place over the phone and/or in video conference, with visual Powerpoint slides showing the proposed project plans. Discussions will address the rationale behind a monitoring program for cumulative impacts to water quality, whether this monitoring is of interest to the stakeholders, opportunities for involvement in developing and conducting the monitoring program, how different organizations and stakeholders can use the results of this monitoring, the proposed project plans, and how the results need to be shared with the stakeholders.

The stakeholders with whom we intend to have these discussions are: Tlicho Government, Akaitcho Territory Government (Deninu Kú?é First Nation, Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, Yellowknives Dene First Nation Dettah and Ndilo?), North Slave Metis Alliance, NWT Metis Nation, and Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board.

During the monitoring program, the research team will have regular (every 3-6 months) discussions and updates with the stakeholders to discuss project progress, preliminary findings and any questions or concerns.

In May 2021, the research team will provide a summary of the first year of monitoring to the stakeholders. The format of this summary will depend on how the stakeholders would like to receive these results.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from: July 30, 2020 to September 19, 2020.