Vision and Principles

The vision of the Water Strategy is:

“The waters of the Northwest Territories will remain clean, abundant and productive for all time.”

NWT waters are important for ecosystems and the people within those ecosystems. Abundant and clean water means clean drinking water in our homes and communities, and healthy fish in our lakes and rivers. Our quality of life depends on water and healthy aquatic ecosystems, as does the delivery of goods by barge and ice road, or the production of hydroelectricity from a rushing river. The vision reflects the importance of working together to ensure that water continues to meet our health, cultural and economic needs and sustains aquatic ecosystems.

Along with the overall vision, the following principles will guide our water use:

  • Respect – for different values and lifestyles, as well as Aboriginal rights, treaties and self-government agreements.
  • Sustainability – decisions supporting healthy aquatic ecosystems to allow current and future generations to continue to live both modern and traditional ways of life.
  • Responsibility – everyone must make thoughtful decisions for how our actions affect aquatic ecosystems.
  • Knowledge – use the best available traditional, local and western scientific knowledge to make sound decisions and use new knowledge as it becomes available.
  • Accountability – decisions made in an open and transparent manner and decision makers held accountable for their actions.

The following goals support the Water Strategy vision and principles:

  • Waters flowing into, through or within the NWT maintain their quality, quantity and rates of flow.
  • People have safe, clean and plentiful drinking water at all times.
  • Aquatic ecosystems are healthy and diverse.
  • People rely on water to sustain their communities and economies.
  • People are involved in and knowledgeable about water stewardship.
  • Everyone making water stewardship decisions works together to communicate and share information.