Queen's University

Iqaluit taps into the Apex River for drinking water

The city of Iqaluit has identified the Apex River as the best choice for a secondary drinking water supply to meet the need of its growing population. However, researchers from Ontario's Queen's University say more data is needed before tapping into this water source to prevent depleting the supply.

"Understanding what controls how much water you have at various times of year is pretty critical in order to determine whether that drinking water source is going to be sustainable," says Melissa Lafrenière, an associate professor in the geography department at Queen's University who heads the research team.

"Without understanding, you can't manage the water source," says Lafrenière.

The team is investigating the chemical signatures in the water to determine its origins; weather it's coming from snow, rainfall, ice or groundwater. Lafrenière who started this research in 2013 says a long-term approach is needed to identify the impact of climate change on the water supply.

Read the full story by the CBC.
(Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

Related Content

Apex River Watershed, Iqaluit, Nunavut

Research at the Apex River in Iqaluit is recently initiated (May 2013) collaborative research program aimed at understanding the hydrological and water quality response of the watershed to changing climatic and permafrost conditions. The Apex is an important river for the city of Iqaluit, and research there is motivated by interest and concerns by local residents, decision makers and the city about changing river flows and water quality.

Dr. Melissa Lafreniere

Current research interests include investigating the influence of anthropogenic inputs on nitrogen deposition and export in alpine catchments, and describing how the biogeochemical cycles of DOC and N in arctic catchments vary with changes in climatic, geomorphic and hydrological variables. These investigations involve a combination process studies and experimentation in the field, and laboratory analyses of surface water chemistry.