Photo by Garth Lenz.

The community is nestled on the northwest shore of Lake Athabasca and downstream of tar sands/mining extraction and hydroelectric dams. The challenge the community faces is the lack of data on the industry water use and how that is or will affect the community in the future. There is a need for data that will help with informed decision making for active stewardship and monitoring. We have estimated that it will cost about 17 billion dollars in liability if reclamation and remediation is not done to bring back the boreal ecosystem. Therefore, we need data to aid in decision-making and adaptive management to determine whether the current management practices and solutions are effectively working.

This could be data on biodiversity, for example of benthic vertebrates to access the health of the water ecosystems and also water quality. Currently we do not have such data. Right now, they are doing progressive reclamation where they are revegetating as they are mining but we cannot evaluate whether this is successful or not. We do not know if the species they are using for revegetation are improving environmental quality or not. We need to develop criteria to determine the success of reclamation by evaluating if specified targets are met with a particular time period and if these are not met then identify what could be done differently – adaptative management.

Success criteria
Data on water quality.
Assessments of effects of mining.
Assessment of effects of tar sands on water quality.
Climate Zone
Related SDGs