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N.W.T. power corporation releases water from Nonacho Lake into into Taltson River system

·1 min read
The South Valley spillway on the Taltson River. Two of three 'small gates' at the Nonacho Lake Dam have been opened to keep Nonacho Lake within the parameters of its water licence for the Taltson Hydro facility, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation said in a news release on Friday.  (N.W.T. Power Corporation  - image credit)
The South Valley spillway on the Taltson River. Two of three 'small gates' at the Nonacho Lake Dam have been opened to keep Nonacho Lake within the parameters of its water licence for the Taltson Hydro facility, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation said in a news release on Friday. (N.W.T. Power Corporation - image credit)

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) has opened two gates at the Nonacho Lake Dam due to high water levels, releasing water into the Taltson River system.

Two of three "small gates" at the Nonacho Lake Dam have been opened to keep Nonacho Lake in line with NTPC's water licence for the Taltson Hydro facility, the corporation said in a news release on Friday.

The gates, which release water from Nonacho Lake into the Taltson River system, are "primarily [used] during low water years but they can also be used when water levels in the lake get too high," says NTPC.

The gates have been closed since 2014.

NTPC says the two open gates will add "just over five per cent to the total river flow" on the Taltson River.

No risk to downstream property owners, says NTPC

The open gates are not expected to have a "significant impact on downstream water levels," says NTPC, nor do they create a flood risk for downstream property owners.

The Nonacho Dam is about 160 kilometres upstream from the Taltson Hydroelectric Facility, and 300 kilometres upstream from the Taltson River outlet into Great Slave Lake, reads the release.

Precipitation and spring melt, among other factors, are contributing to high water levels on the Taltson River, says NTPC. It also says overflow from the Tazin River is "significantly higher than has ever been recorded." The corporation didn't say whether climate change was a factor in the high water levels.

The Tazin River has not typically been a major contributor to the overall volume of water in the Taltson River system, reads the release, but in 2020 and this year, it has been responsible for as much as 80 per cent of inflows.

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