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Ensuring that high-quality information is available to water managers and residents of Yukon is critical for water resources planning, both now and in the future. Government services such as protecting communities from flood risk, designing bridges, and monitoring drinking water quality all depend on having access to robust and high-quality datasets. Accordingly, the Yukon government (YG) has established water monitoring networks that regularly collect information on surface water, groundwater, precipitation, permafrost, snow, and glaciers. These networks will help YG to better understand and manage Yukon’s water and respond to the pressures of a warming climate, population growth, and future development.
How is the Yukon government planning for water needs now and in the future?
YG has committed to a wide range of actions as part of the Yukon Water Strategy and Action Plan that will assist it in planning for current and future water needs. These actions fall under two broad areas of work:
YG is taking many steps to plan for current and future water needs, including its actions in areas such as research, monitoring, and collaboration with communities. For instance, YG recently enhanced its water monitoring program in North Yukon by establishing three new hydrometric monitoring stations (2013), numerous water quality baseline sampling sites in the Peel and Upper Porcupine watersheds (2012), and a groundwater monitoring station (2014). Furthermore, YG has established a plan for future hydrometric and water quality monitoring stations as part of the Yukon Water Strategy and Action Plan.
Building on the research carried out in the Wolf Creek Research Basin, YG is also preparing and planning for future water needs through innovative research. The Wolf Creek Research Basin was established in 1993 to carry out water-related studies and has been used by YG to study meteorological and hydrological processes in cold regions and how the impacts of climate change may affect them. This research has evolved into a multidisciplinary project that seeks to understand relationships between water and different ecosystem functions, including climate and climate change, permafrost, vegetation, fisheries, and wildlife. Some of the findings from the Wolf Creek Research Basin have already been transferred to other regions of the Yukon for use in project design, assessment, and operation.
Refer to the Yukon Water Strategy and Action Plan (English / Français – PDF 5.7 MB) to learn more about the actions YG is taking to plan for water needs now and in the future.