Water Management and Monitoring

Hay River Water Monitoring Activities

The Hay River is a culturally significant river for Northerners and an integral part of the Mackenzie River Basin. Given its importance, there are several monitoring initiatives in the region designed to better understand the river and to detect changes. The information collected through these programs can also help to address questions that people may have.

Hay River, Northwest Territories
Hay River, Northwest Territories

While amounts vary from year to year, the volume of water in the Hay River has remained relatively stable since monitoring began in 1963. Only a slight increasing trend in winter flow was revealed.

Some changes in water quality were also found, such as increasing trends in phosphorus and decreasing trends in calcium, magnesium and sulphate. This means that the levels of these substances have changed since sampling began in 1988. Further work is needed to understand the ecological significance of these trends.

Overall, the water quality and quantity of the Hay River is good. Continued monitoring activities will increase our knowledge of this important river and identify change. It is important that all water partners work closely together on any monitoring initiatives.