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Water is essential to life - it is essential to the health of Yukon’s people, economy and the natural environment. The Government of Yukon has released the Yukon Water Strategy and Action Plan. The strategy sets a foundation for making complex water management decisions and the action plan lays a path forward for how to make progress on the priorities and goals identified. The Yukon government will be spending an additional $3.35 million dollars over three years to implement the strategy.
The quality, quantity and overall health of waters flowing through Yukon lands are sustained for all living things now and in the future.
Water for Nature ~ Preserve water quality and quantity for aquatic and terrestrial health and ecosystem services and respect the intrinsic value of water, and
Water for People ~ Ensure accessible, safe and sufficient water for drinking and other purposes, including industrial, recreational, heritage, cultural and spiritual uses and values. Promote sustainable and wise use of water for communities and key business sectors.
The strategy has six priorities for achieving the goals. Work already underway is provided with each priority, along with new actions:
Better understand and manage Yukon’s groundwater regime
Enhance and formalize the existing groundwater program in Yukon, and
Develop a regulatory framework to manage groundwater.
Maintain/improve access to safe drinking water.
Foster stronger working relationships with other governments and agencies involved with drinking water sources in Yukon,
Enhance opportunities for education, training and access to information,
Evaluate drinking water use and efficiency, and
Ensure regulatory programs meet public need for safe drinking water.
Promote the sustainable use of water.
Provide further guidance and advice to water users.
Improve the sharing of information about Yukon’s water.
Improve communication, education and outreach regarding Yukon’s water, and
Enhance tools for sharing water information with the public.
Improve water management programs.
Enhance co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration with other water managers, and
Strengthen our water management capabilities.
Plan for water needs now and in the future.
Ensure adequate water monitoring across the territory, and
The strategy was developed with input from Yukoners. A draft version of the strategy was circulated for public review in 2013. In developing the strategy, the involvement of other governments and agencies which manage or advocate for the protection of water resources helped ensure the final strategy respects the diverse values and interests regarding water in Yukon.