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Hosted by the Yukon government, the 2015 Yukon Water Forum was held on February 17 and 18, 2015 at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse.
Workshop Summary Report (PDF 1.69 MB)
Holding an annual or biennial Water Forum is one of the commitments in Yukon government’s Yukon Water Strategy and Action Plan; Water for Nature, Water for People (Strategy). The purpose of a Water Forum is to exchange information, collaboratively address water issues, and promote continuous improvements.
Water management in Yukon is shared between Government of Canada, Yukon government, First Nations, municipalities, and boards and councils. Other organizations also have an interest in water management. The Yukon government developed this Strategy to act on its responsibility for water management in Yukon. The 2015 Forum was focussed on engagement and collaboration with water managers from these governments/organizations with the intent of exchanging information and seeking input into various government initiatives associated with the Strategy.
About 70 participants attended this Forum. The themes for the Forum included:
Access to Safe Drinking Water
Yukon residents want drinking water supplies that are clean, secure, and reliable. Accordingly, the Yukon government has made the maintenance and improvement of access to safe drinking water supplies a top priority of the Strategy. At the Forum, the government’s presentation included information about safe drinking water, source water protection, the multi-barrier approach, and the Drinking Water Regulation. The presentations were followed by breakout groups to discuss roles, challenges, solutions and collaborations; and to suggest improvements and actions.
Understand and Manage Yukon’s Groundwater The Yukon government is currently enhancing its groundwater program, and plans are being made for expanding Yukon’s groundwater monitoring network. The Yukon government’s Hydrogeologist provided a “Groundwater 101” presentation, and on Yukon’s current groundwater program and proposed expansions. The government’s Contaminated Sites Coordinator gave a presentation on Groundwater and the Contaminated Sites Regulation. Breakout groups discussed issues related to groundwater concerns, how we can grow our knowledge and protect our needs in the context of an enhanced groundwater program.
Growing Our Knowledge and Understanding Two panels were held under this theme: Water-related Initiatives, and Water-related Research.
Water-related initiatives were presented, such as Yukon government’s Mine Licensing Improvement Initiative, Yukon Water Board’s Waterline (the online registry for water license information), and its plans to develop the Coordinated Online Information Network (COIN) database. Champagne & Aishihik First Nations also presented its draft Water Strategy.
Representatives from the Yukon’s government’s Water Resources Branch and Yukon College’s Yukon Research Centre presented hydrologic response to climate change impacts, actions taken under the Strategy, and current water-related research projects.
Participants held brainstorming sessions to generate ideas for future work in these areas.
Innovative Data Collection and Information Sharing Data collection and the sharing of information regarding surface and groundwater supply and quality is essential when planning water use activities and assessing their effects. Improved communication about available water information and data will enhance the ability of citizens, governments and partners to make decisions informed by shared knowledge. Water Resources Branch provided information about its water information website Yukonwater.ca, and how to integrate water data management. A brainstorming session was also held to generate ideas for future work.
Presentations from the Water Forum are available here:
Any questions regarding the Yukon Water Forum can be directed to:
Water Resources Branch
Government of Yukon
Box 2703 (V-310)
Canada Y1A 2C6
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408 local 3171