YELLOWKNIFE (September 20, 2017) – The Land and Water Boards of the Mackenzie Valley and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) are pleased to announce the release of the Guidelines for Effluent Mixing Zones.
In the Mackenzie Valley, the use of water and the deposit of waste into water is regulated under the Waters Act. Responsibilities associated with the approval, issuance, administration, and enforcement of water licences are shared by the Boards (Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, Gwich’in Land and Water Board, Sahtu Land and Water Board, and Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board) and the GNWT.
In recognition of their collective responsibility for water licensing, the Boards and the GNWT have collaborated in the development of these Guidelines. The Guidelines are intended to improve the clarity and consistency of water licensing decisions involving the use of mixing zones in the regulation of waste discharge across the NWT.
“Working closely with partners on initiatives that support environmentally sustainable decision-making is important for managing water in the NWT. I am pleased to see guidelines in place that will clarify existing regulatory processes while supporting the Boards’ Water and Effluent Quality Management Policy and building on the Keys for Success outlined in the GNWT Water Stewardship Action Plan 2016-2020. This initiative demonstrates the GNWT’s continued efforts to work in partnership with our stakeholders to improve and enhance water-related regulatory decision making across the NWT.
- Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources
“The Land and Water Boards of the Mackenzie Valley are proud to release the Guidelines for Effluent Mixing Zones in partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories. These guidelines were shaped by input received from parties following a public review process and incorporate current best practices on the use and regulation of mixing zones. The Boards believe the addition of this guidance document to the northern toolbox will add clarity and certainty for all stakeholders regarding the deposit of waste within the Mackenzie Valley.”
- Mavis Cli-Michaud, Chair, Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
- A mixing zone is an area where effluent—waste—is deposited and first mixes with the receiving body of water.
- As described in the Boards’ Water and Effluent Quality Management Policy, mixing zones may be established on a case-by-case basis for licensed undertakings that discharge waste into receiving waters such as rivers, streams, or lakes.
- Water licences for these types of activities typically include effluent quality criteria prescribing the maximum allowable concentrations or quantities of any contaminants of potential concern in the waste discharge stream.
- Mixing zones, if established, aid in determining effluent quality criteria for individual water licences.
- Guidelines for Effluent Mixing Zones
- Water Stewardship Action Plan 2016-2020.
- Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Environment and Natural Resources
Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board