NWT Water Monitoring Bulletin – May 17, 2022

News Type: 
Water monitoring bulletin

The Government of the Northwest Territories maintains water monitoring stations across the territory to keep track of water levels and flow rates in areas of potential flood risk for communities.

This information is provided regularly to territorial and regional emergency managers to help understand the status of waterways across the NWT in the lead-up to, and during spring break-up – the highest-risk period for floods in the Northwest Territories.

Technical data


Current status - NWT

  • Water levels are receding in Sambaa K’e after flooding from the Island River on the weekend;

    • Some ponded water remains in low-lying areas of the community;

  • Ice is moving along the Mackenzie River through the Sahtu;

  • Ice broke and is moving well through the Ramparts, past Fort Good Hope as of this morning;

  • Water levels have receded on the Mackenzie River at Tulita and Norman Wells following ice movement;

  • Water levels under ice are increasing in the Mackenzie River Delta, as is normal for this time of year;

  • Water levels on the Peel River near Fort McPherson are increasing at a normal rate for this time of year.



Hay River

Current status

  • Provisional water levels at the Hay River near Hay River gauge (just upstream of town) dropped by 5 m since the peak on the morning of May 12;

  • While the gauge on the main stem of the Hay River at the border continues to slowly increase as residual snowmelt water moves through the basin and to the river, the gauge further south on the Hay River near Meander River has levelled off;

  • As Hay River has reached open water status and the risk of more break-up related flooding has passed, there will no longer be daily analyses in this report in order to focus efforts downstream where flood risk still remains. Conditions will continue to be monitored by ENR. If you wish to follow real-time, visit: https://wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/report/real_time_e.html?stn=07OB001


Dehcho Region

Current Status

  • Localized flooding occurred in Sambaa K’e on May 14 and May 15;

    • Ponded water remains in some areas and is slowly draining;

    • Ice on the Island River jammed at the mouth (inlet to Trout Lake) and led to backwater breaching the river bank and flowing into the community.

Above – Image taken at 13:00 MDT on May 16th over the community of Sambaa K’e, looking south. The Island River can be seen draining into Trout Lake. Note that the large channel at the north end of the fork (channel at the bottom of the image) was jammed with ice during the flood event, forcing backwater through the south channel. Image courtesy of the GNWT.



Mackenzie River

Current Status

  • Break up is progressing along the Mackenzie River, with ice moving along the river through the Sahtu;

  • The main push of ice has now moved past Tulita, Norman Wells and the Ramparts;

    • Water levels at Tulita have receded;

    • Water levels at Norman Wells have receded;

  • Ice is currently moving downstream at Fort Good Hope (as of 11:00).

Above – Mackenzie River at Fort Good Hope hydrometric gauge photo from May 17 at 12:00. Photo courtesy of Water Survey of Canada and GNWT.


Peel River and Beaufort Delta

Current Status

  • Water levels are beginning to increase on the Peel River, as is usual for this time of year;

  • Ice has not yet moved on the Mackenzie River near Tsiigehtchic;

  • Water levels in the Mackenzie Delta continue to rise;

    • Water levels were much higher than average over winter, but lower than last year.

Above – Peel River at Fort McPherson hydrometric gauge photo from May 17 at 12:00. Photo courtesy of Water Survey of Canada and GNWT.