Canada helps protect Yellowknife from flooding and safeguards water supply

News release

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, March 13, 2019—Now more than ever, communities need help adapting to the frequent and intensifying weather events caused by climate change. Reducing the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy.

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and her Worship Rebecca Alty, Mayor of Yellowknife, today announced funding towards disaster mitigation in the Yellowknife region.  

Most communities across the Northwest Territories are located on a body of water, and some are designated flood risk areas. Flooding has frequently caused extensive damage to people, property, and the economy, and is considered to be a high risk throughout the territory.

This project involves replacing 8.5 km of underwater pipe and investing in natural infrastructure to reduce the risk of flooding in the community. These upgrades will increase the capacity for flood water retention and will better protect the community drinking water supply during times of extreme weather. The changes will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to water line replacement and system operations. By securing essential services from the effects of flooding, this work will help protect the community from floods for years to come.

The Government of Canada is contributing $25.8 million to this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund with the City of Yellowknife contributing over $8.6 million.


“Taking concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change is more and more essential to ensuring a safe prosperous future for our kids and grandkids. This work will help keep people’s drinking water clean, make sure they have uninterrupted access to essential services, and greatly reduce the costs of flood recovery.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“Extreme weather is becoming more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive because of climate change. By investing in the infrastructure that protects our neighbourhoods, businesses, and families, we are building communities that can withstand future natural disasters and thrive for generations to come.”

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety

“Now more than ever, northern communities need support to adapt to climate change. This important work will help safeguard the City of Yellowknife’s water supply for decades to come.”

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories

“The City’s successful application for Disaster Mitigation & Adaptation funding, supported by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the North Slave Metis Alliance, represents a significant investment in the City’s structural and natural capacity to mitigate the potential economic, environmental and social impacts of climate change, and provides Yellowknife with the ability to respond to disasters triggered by natural hazards and extreme weather events.”

Her Worship Rebecca Alty, Mayor of Yellowknife

Quick facts

  • The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.

  • DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.

  • Investing in green infrastructure that helps communities cope with the intensifying effects of climate change is an integral part of Canada’s transition to a more resilient, low-carbon economy, which is among the commitments made under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Associated links


Emilie Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development

Kerry L. Penney
Director, Policy, Communications and Economic Development
City of Yellowknife

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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