NWT Water Monitoring Bulletin – May 19, 2023

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 

  • Fort McPherson has declared a local state-of-emergency in response to high water levels and restricted access to fresh water and the airport;
    • Cabin owners along the Peel River and residents of Fort McPherson should be aware of continued potential for high water along the Peel River;
  • The water level on the Peel River at Fort McPherson has been slowly receding over the past 48 hours after the large ice jam shifted downstream of the community;
    • Water levels have dropped by just over 1.0 m over the last two days;
  • Water levels continue to rise on the Mackenzie River at Tsiigehtchic, but are well within their normal range;
    • Ice from the main stem of the Mackenzie River has packed into the Delta near Point Separation and at the confluence of the Peel River;
  • Residents in Aklavik should prepare for the possibility of high water at break up;
    • Warm weather and clear skies in the Beaufort Delta over the next five days will expedite breakup and cause ice to start moving soon;
    • Mackenzie River ice is packed into the upper Mackenzie Delta near Point Separation and the mouth of the Peel River;
      • This ice is being held by solid sheet ice in the main channel
    • The water level underneath the ice at Aklavik has been rising quickly, but well within the normal range for breakup;
    • Peak water level will be dependent on how the ice and water move through the many channels of the Delta.