Yukon-NWT Transboundary Water Management Agreements public engagement

What was this engagement about?

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is negotiating with the Yukon Government to update the Yukon-Northwest Territories (NWT) Transboundary Water Management Agreement, which was signed in 2002. The intent is to modernize the existing agreement and align it with more recent transboundary agreements with Alberta and British Columbia.

The GNWT and Yukon Government have negotiated two separate Yukon-NWT Intentions Documents towards the development of two final Transboundary Water Management Agreements – one for the Peel/Mackenzie Delta basins and one for the Liard basin – because waters that flow between Yukon and the NWT are located within these two separate areas. Intentions Documents lay out the main commitments of the final agreements.

Previously the GNWT has asked for public input on the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy, on Intentions Documents for bilateral agreements with Alberta and British Columbia, and on negotiating positions for modernizing the 2002 agreement with Yukon. The GNWT is now seeking input from NWT residents on these Yukon-NWT Intentions Documents.

Why are the transboundary agreements important?

Transboundary agreements are important to both upstream and downstream jurisdictions because they provide a long-term framework to manage shared water resources in the Mackenzie River Basin in a sustainable manner for current and future generations. Transboundary agreements help to ensure that aquatic ecosystem health of shared water is maintained.

Transboundary agreements also commit the jurisdictions to consult, notify and share information on developments that might affect the aquatic ecosystem in downstream jurisdictions. These agreements establish a common and agreed-upon set of conditions regarding water quality, water quantity, aquatic life and monitoring that will demonstrate how jurisdictional interests are being achieved.

The GNWT believes the two Yukon-NWT Transboundary Water Management Agreements will provide certainty, help ensure that the quality, quantity and rate of flow of waters flowing into the NWT are maintained, and promote effective transboundary water management in the NWT.

How can I participate?

NWT residents are invited to read both the Yukon-NWT Liard Basin Intentions Document and appendices, and the Yukon-NWT Peel/Mackenzie Delta Basins Intentions Document and appendices:

Plain language summaries of the Intentions Documents and appendices can be found here:

Please submit your comments to:

nwtwaterstrategy@gov.nt.ca 
(867) 767-9234 ext. 53115

The deadline to provide comments is March 15, 2021.

How will my input make a difference?

Comments received during this engagement period will be considered while finalizing the Yukon-NWT Transboundary Water Management Agreements. 

Where can I find results?

Results from the public engagement will be summarized in a What We Heard report and made public once the engagement deadline has passed. 

Where can I find more information?

Questions can be forwarded to nwtwaterstrategy@gov.nt.ca
More information on transboundary water management agreements can be found here: