The Government of the Northwest Territories, through the Water Management and Monitoring division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), provides information and expert advice to resource management boards and other clients on the effects of proposed water and land activities on the aquatic environment, as required by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Waters Act and regulations. The GNWT also suggests ways to address these impacts and assists NWT water boards in making informed decisions on how development should proceed.
The GNWT helps boards establish the parameters for and verify the accuracy of studies to be carried out by water licence holders to measure the effects of their operation on the aquatic environment. Input is provided regarding the closure and reclamation of development sites for which a water licence has been issued. This helps ensure the sites are returned to an appropriate condition to eliminate the transfer of liability to public taxpayers.
The GNWT is responsible for providing recommendations to regulatory boards for the amount of security to be held for a development project. This security is held and accessed if needed to conduct reclamation of the development in the event of a default by the water licence holder.
Additionally, the GNWT reviews and provides advice on contingency plans to make sure water licence holders are prepared for emergency conditions – for example, spills, power loss or storms – so the aquatic environment is protected to the greatest extent possible.