2019 Water Protection and Waste Management Awards

For the second time, NTWWA presented prizes this year (at its 2019 conference) to recognize communities’ efforts towards protecting the environment and water bodies around their communities via sound waste management practices.

Best Waste Management Practices are identified as “Key To Success” in the NWT Water Strategy. Specifically,

  • Key To Success 3.1 B specifies the importance to “Improve municipal waste and wastewater systems in the NWT through waste management activities and the development of standards and guidelines”,
  • Key To Success 3.1 C “Improve municipal water licence compliance by addressing challenges and providing support and training”, and
  • Key To Success 3.1 D “Improve the understanding of waste and wastewater systems in the NWT communities and consider traditional knowledge in municipal water licencing processes.”


The criteria used for recipients’ selection for these new prizes included:

  • Planning of Waste Management Activities:
  • Communities do this through the submission of Operations and Maintenance Plans specific to each community related to their Sewage Disposal Facility (SDF) and Solid Waste Disposal Facility (SWDF).


  • Monitoring & Reporting:
  • Communities do this through monitoring water quality of effluent planned to be released to the environment.
  • Monitoring ponds or runoff in proximity of SWDFs to assess potential impacts of these waste management practices, and
  • Reporting these monitoring results to their respective Land and Water Board every year.


  • The third and final criteria focused on On-Site Best Waste Management Practices which reflect as much as possible the principles and procedures outlined in Operation and Maintenance Plans, as well as recommendations made in Inspection reports. Examples of on-site best waste management practices include:


  • Signs Posting or Maintenance – to identify important features such as Monitoring locations, SDFs, SWDFs, Waste segregation at SWDF, etc,
  • Fences maintenance around the SWDF – to prevent wind-blown debris from travelling outside of the facility,
  • Protection of the sewage lagoon integrity – by maintaining an acceptable freeboard,
  • Repairs or modifications – to maintain the integrity of various structures/components such as the SDF discharge chute, the lagoon berm, etc.,
  • Access control to SWDF – to prevent illegal dumping, and
  • Maintenance of Secondary containment for hazardous wastes – to prevent leaching of contaminants to the environment and water bodies.
  • And more.

Staff from various Land and Water Boards in the Nunavut (NU) and the Northwest Territories (NWT), as well as inspectors from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNA) and Government of the Northwest Territitories – Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), have contributed their time and expertise to help determine which communities should be recognized this year.

Criteria for the Waste Management Award are only evaluated based on the previous year, which therefore provides equal chances of receiving this award in future years for communities that improve their waste management practices, specific to the criteria identified.

The first prize, the Waste Management Award, recognizes most specifically NU and NWT communities considered at an ‘earlier’ stage of monitoring with respect to the number of years of monitoring data submitted to the Board. As well, this year’s selection focused most specifically on Planning, Monitoring and Annual Reporting.

2019 recipients of the Waste Management Award

  • The Hamlet of  Taloyoak

  • The Hamlet of Cambridge Bay

  • Hamlet of Qikiqtarjuaq

  • The Hamlet of Behchoko-Edzo (NWT)

  • The Community Government of Dettah (NWT)

Monitoring conducted every year (under a water licence) is an important feedback tool to ensure waste management activities are not posing a risk to human health or the environment. For example, monitoring results will inform if the treated wastewater is ready to be discharged – or if it should be held longer for further treatment. Monitoring also serves as an information tool to identify new arising issues to be addressed. Inspectors are government representatives who can help communities during that process.

The last award, the “Water Protection Award”, is intended to reflect how well a community has done this past year with respect to waste management activities, but is also highlighting the importance of monitoring by accounting the total number of years for which monitoring activities outlined in the water licence and associated data were submitted to the Board.

2019 recipients of the Water Protection Award

  • The Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk (NT)

  • The Hamlet of Fort Providence (NWT)

Congratulations to all 2019 recipients!