Monitoring and research provides more information to better understand water and aquatic ecosystems. Monitoring allows changes over time to be tracked and measured. Research can help to improve the understanding of aquatic ecosystems as a whole and help to determine what causes change. Good monitoring and research programs include an integration of traditional, local and western scientific knowledge. Often, research and monitoring work together – research can inform the development of monitoring programs and monitoring can help researchers design studies.

NWT Discovery Portal

It is important for all water partners to have the opportunity to participate in monitoring and research. Communities, in particular, must be involved early and often, because it is at the community level where the effects of changes in water and aquatic ecosystems are felt most.

Everyone should be able to access the results of water monitoring and research that have already been completed. The NWT Water Monitoring Inventory was developed to provide general information about all water quality and quantity monitoring programs in the NWT. The NWT Discovery Portal provides a central location for environmental monitoring knowledge in the NWT. Certain types of information, such as traditional knowledge, are shared according to established protocols and agreements. 

Mackenzie DataStream is a powerful online platform for sharing information about freshwater in the Mackenzie River Basin. DataStream was developed by Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation in close collaboration with Environment and Natural Resources, and its mission is to promote knowledge sharing and advance collaborative, evidence-based decision making.. 


Mackenzie Datastream
Using DataStream you can access, visualize, and download full water quality datasets collected by 21 communities in the NWT-wide Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring Program. Visit the Mackenzie DataStream

PDF version of a map the illustrates all active water quality monitoring stations in the NWT is available (February 2016)

Aurora Research Institute (ARI) and Environment Climate Change (ECC-GNWT) have developed a package of templates to ensure research and monitoring results are shared in a meaningful way with NWT communities. By following these prepared guides, researchers can be sure important information will not be overlooked and can tailor their communication to the needs of knowledge-users in the community. To access supporting templates, guides for presenting scientific research, or monitoring results to communities and other audiences, visit the ARI web site

PDF of the NWT Water Strategy, Research Priorities: Summary of Survey Results and 2017 NWT Water Strategy Implementation Workshop Discussion is available