High water levels remain a problem as NWT heads toward winter

A view of the Taltson hydro system - Meco Engineering
A view of the Taltson hydro system. Photo: Meco Engineering

Water levels in the Tazin and Taltson rivers are higher than usual for the second year in a row, the NWT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources says.

Last year, the department said water flows on the Tazin – a Taltson tributary – were six times higher than average in October, while the Taltson had a flow three times the average in November. 

This fall, departmental spokesperson Mike Westwick said, Taltson levels remain “unusual for this time of year when compared to prior years’ data.”

So far, Westwick said, the high water levels haven’t put any communities at risk, but cabin owners and people heading out to hunt “should be aware of the higher water as we head into freeze-up” and be cautious of thinner ice than is usual.



High water levels flooded cabins and ruined trapping sites along the Taltson River last winter. 

Westwick said relocating previously flooded cabins had been a condition of a compensation fund subsequently offered by the GNWT designed to help offset losses.

The department will be “monitoring water levels closely and completing activities like snow surveys near the end of winter to get an idea of how much may be added to our watersheds when the snow does melt,” he said.