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City of Iqaluit declares emergency due to water shortage

Nunavut capital says lack of precipitation this summer and 40-year low flows in Apex River have created emergency.
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Lake Geraldine, Iqaluit's drinking water reservoir, nears historic minimum levels on Friday, Aug.12, 2022. The City of Iqaluit has declared a state of emergency due to the water shortage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dustin Patar

IQALUIT, Nunavut — The City of Iqaluit has declared a state of emergency due to a water shortage.

The Nunavut capital says there has been a lack of precipitation this summer and flows in the Apex River, which is Iqaluit’s secondary water source, are at a 40-year low.

As a result, Lake Geraldine, which serves as the water reservoir for Iqaluit, will not be replenished before freeze up. 

The city says it is working to get regulatory approval to pump additional water from the nearby Unnamed Lake into the Apex River then into Lake Geraldine.

The city says it will need to pump more than 500 million litres of water.

Once approved, pumping is expected to take 40 days.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2022.

The Canadian Press