Baseline understanding of the aquatic health in the area of heavy oil and gas exploration in the Sahtu
In 2012, the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) with various academic, government and community partners, including the Sahtu Renewable Resources Board, proposed a five year project to study the aquatic health in the area where intensive oil and gas exploration is taking place. Although there are many proposed and active developments west of the Mackenzie River, between Tulita and Norman Wells, there currently is very little information on the health of aquatic systems in the area.
A baseline water quality and stream health assessment program was designed with input from academics, communities (Tulita and Norman Wells) and regulators (SLWB). Undisturbed and disturbed streams (i.e., streams located downstream from winter roads, all weather roads, well pads, seismic lines, camps, quarries, drilling activities) are being sampled for water quality as well as benthic macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity to determine baseline conditions throughout the watersheds and streams of key interest.
Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP, NWT)