Water Management and Monitoring

Community-based Monitoring

About community-based monitoring in the NWT

The Government of the Northwest Territories, through the Department of Environment and Climate Change (ECC) works with water partners to support communities in the development and implementation of aquatic community-based monitoring (CBM) and research programs.

ECC is the lead agency for coordinating implementation of  the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy. Part of the implementation is to support NWT communities to become more involved in water stewardship activities, such as monitoring and research.

Community-based monitoring fosters a wide range of innovations, including increased awareness of water stewardship issues, improved traditional knowledge collection and application as well as increased direct community involvement in research and monitoring program design. ECC provides information about monitoring parameters and provides equipment and other monitoring resources for community-based projects.

ECC is working with 21 communities to monitor water quality at over 40 sites on 24 NWT rivers and lakes.

Download a factsheet on the program here.

In October of 2020, ECC released two videos promoting the NWT-wide Community-based Water Quality Monitoring Program.

The videos provide an overview of the program and step-by-step instructions on how to take a water sample. The two videos are valuable resources for NWT communities looking to get more involved in research and monitoring.

Watch the Community-based Water Quality Monitoring Program video


Watch the video on How to take a grab water sample

Monitoring locations

NWT-wide Community-based Water Quality Monitoring Sites

NWT-wide Community-based Water Quality Monitoring Program Results


Slave River and Delta Partnership

The Slave River and Delta Partnership (SRDP) was formed in 2010 to support CBM activities along the Slave River and Delta, and to strengthen community involvement in monitoring and research. Membership includes communities, government agencies, academics, and non-government organizations. ECC is a member. 

In 2012-13 the SRDP began to assess contaminants in muskrat, mink, beaver and snowshoe hare in the Slave River Basin. Samples are currently being analyzed.

Community-based Cumulative Effects Monitoring Framework

ECC is working with the Canadian Water Network (CWN) and SRDP to develop a community-based cumulative effects monitoring framework. The University of Saskatchewan is conducting the ongoing research, which began in August 2013.

Cumulative Effects Monitoring Pilot Project

A youth-focused cumulative effects monitoring pilot project is underway in Fort Resolution. Community partners and leadership have identified youth engagement as a priority for community-monitoring.

ECC is working with the communities of Fort Good Hope and Sambaa K’e (Trout Lake) to support CBM that addresses community concerns.

Drinking Water

ECC partnered with Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), Health and Social Services (HSS), and Infrastructure (INF) to host a community meeting in Fort Good Hope in April 2013, to present results from the 2012 monitoring program. They answered questions about community drinking water and the new water treatment plant.