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Northwest Territories water levels on lakes and rivers at all-time low

Extreme lows follow on heels of highest levels last year

November 7, 2023  By Ground Water Canada

Yellowknife, N.W.T. – The lowest water levels ever recorded in the Northwest Territories have impacted several lakes and rivers throughout the territory. This comes after the highest levels recorded occurred between 2020 and 2022.

Levels remain low as the winter freeze-up approaches.

The extremes in fluctuations haven’t occurred in the 84 years since statistics have been recorded. The fluctuations are being attributed to large weather systems that have moved across the Great Slave Lake basin.


Water levels are the lowest ever recorded at Hay River, Petitot River, Cameron River, Snare River and Coppermine River. Great Bear Lake’s levels are also below normal.

By mid-October, water levels at the Mackenzie River or Dehcho at Tsiigehtchic were at their lowest for that time of year. Additionally, Slave River’s levels were below average all summer.

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