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Great Slave Lake water levels at record low

Yellowknife from Great Slave Lake
Yellowknife from Great Slave Lake. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio


Water levels on several rivers and lakes across the Northwest Territories are currently the lowest ever recorded.

The latest water monitoring bulletin for the territory, which provides an update on water flow and level data from select gauge stations in the NWT, indicates water levels across the territory remain very low heading into freeze-up.

The NWT has seen dry conditions since the summer and fall 2022.

The bulletin states water levels on Great Slave Lake are now the lowest ever recorded.



Water levels on the lake went from being extremely low in July 2019, to the highest on record between 2020 and 2022, back to extremely low in September 2023.

“The magnitude and frequency of these fluctuations have not previously been seen in the 84-year record,” the bulletin reads.

It says these fluctuations are due to large weather systems that have moved over the entire Great Slave Lake basin.

A graphic from the bulletin shows this year’s water levels on Great Slave Lake compared to the average range and the highest and lowest levels on record.

Water levels and flows are also the lowest on record for the Hay River, Petitot River, Cameron River, Snare River and Coppermine River, as well as well below normal for Great Bear Lake.

Meanwhile, the water level of the Mackenzie River or Dehcho at Tsiigehtchic is the lowest on record for this time of year and in mid-October was the lowest on record for any time of year. The Slave River has been below average for the entire summer.