Managing Yukon Water

Water governance and management are central to ensuring sustainable water use. Water governance is the decision-making process we follow, while water management refers to the operational approaches we adopt. Governance includes how we make decisions and who gets to decide. Management includes the models, principles, and information used to make those decisions and the procedures used to implement them.

Yukon Government

Within the territorial government, there are six departments with responsibilities for Yukon waters.

Federal Government

Within the federal government, there are several departments with responsibilities for Yukon waters.

Yukon First Nations

Yukon First Nations have rights in relation to water that are set out in Final Agreements. These include use and protection of water on Settlement Lands, and use of water in Yukon for trapping, non-commercial harvesting, and traditional heritage.


Incorporated Yukon communities build and manage drinking water and waste management facilities.

Boards and Councils

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB), the Yukon Water Board, Regional Planning Commissions, and Renewable Resource Councils all play important roles with respect to Yukon waters.

Other Stakeholders

Non-government organizations (NGOs) advocate and act to protect and conserve water. NGOs such as Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, Yukon Conservation Society, and BC/Yukon Water and Waste Association advocate and act to protect and conserve water.

Other Jurisdictions

Yukon participates in a number of regional and national water initiatives.