Water Management and Monitoring

Peel River Basin Water Quality Program

The Peel River is a transboundary river that originates in the Yukon. From its headwaters in the Ogilvie Mountains, the river flows eastward for 193 kilometres and then continues in a northerly course for 237 kilometres past Fort McPherson and eventually empties into the Mackenzie River, approximately 65 kilometres south of Aklavik, NWT.

The river supports the subsistence lifestyle of residents within and around the area, including the Tetlit Gwich'in, the Na-cho Nyak Dun and the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nations.

Peel River, Northwest Territories
Peel River, Northwest Territories

Water and suspended sediment are monitored on the Peel River to:

  • establish a baseline prior to potential developments
  • understand water and suspended sediment quality conditions in the Peel River basin
  • meet the requirements of the Transboundary Water Management Bilateral Agreement between the Yukon and the Northwest Territories
  • address community concerns about possible contaminants in water and suspended sediment.

The original sampling program took place between 1980 and 1998. Additional sampling was conducted from 2002-2007.

The Peel River Water Quality Report (2008) presents 20 years of water quality data from the long-term water quality site “Peel River above Fort McPherson” as well as winter water quality and quantity information at remote sites throughout the basin.