Ground Water Canada

Yukon and B.C. sign water management agreement

April 12, 2017  By Ground Water Canada

British Columbia and the Yukon Territory – B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak and Yukon Environment Minister Pauline Frost in April signed an agreement pledging to co-operatively manage shared water in the Mackenzie River Basin, specifically the Liard River and its tributaries.

Through the British Columbia-Yukon Bilateral Water Management Agreement, both governments are committing to protecting the aquatic ecosystem health within the basin, as well as the interests of citizens and First Nations, the Yukon government said in a news release.

The signed agreement also recognizes and respects each jurisdiction’s laws, regulations, plans, policies, and economic opportunities, and addresses issues of water consumption, flow needs and water quality.


This is the second bilateral water management agreement both Yukon and B.C. has signed under the broader Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement – a water management partnership between the federal government and Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C., Yukon and Northwest Territories.

The Mackenzie is the longest and largest river in Canada. The river and its tributaries flow through the Northwest Territories, Yukon, B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The Mackenzie River Basin is the largest river basin in Canada covering 1.8 million square kilometres. The Liard River Basin is the 9th largest watershed in Canada and the river is the 11th longest in the country.

The Mackenzie River Transboundary Waters Master Agreement, signed in 1997, commits all jurisdictions to establish partner agreements for shared waters. To date, three of the seven agreements have been signed: Yukon and NWT signed in 2002; NWT and AB signed in 2015; BC and NWT signed in 2015.

This agreement with B.C. is the last one Yukon needed to fulfil its commitments under the Master Agreement.

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