The challenges of water supply in Canada's far north Nunavut communities

April 11, 2018 Kenneth Johnson

Ken Johnson discusses how Nunavut communities in Northern Canada struggle with water shortage and supply issues

 

Nunavut is the largest of the three territories of the Canadian north, with 20% of Canada’s land mass but only 30,000 people. Eleven of the 25 communities have over 1,000 people, and all of the communities except one (Baker Lake) are coastal. Surface water provides drinking water to all, because permafrost does not accommodate any groundwater resources.

Nunavut is one of the driest regions in the world, with a scant 50 mm of precipitation falling in the northern region and 375 mm in the southern region. In general, 50% – 80% of the yearly precipitation falls as snow. Surface water covers approximately 7.5% of the territory.

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