Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

D. Scott Slocombe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The history of water resources management in the Yukon has been characterized by conflict. This problem is due to the failure to address the interrelationships between water and land resources. Although many parts of the Yukon remain largely undisturbed wilderness areas, development pressures place increasing demands on Territorial water resources. To ensure these stresses do not degrade Yukon waters to the extent common in many Canadian regions, a reevaluation of the legal and administrative arrangements for water management in the Yukon is required. A majority of the legislation pertaining to water management in the Yukon was introduced in the 1970s and is unable to address many contemporary issues. The recent enactment of a new Yukon Waters Act and improvements to some industrial regulations provide an opportunity to create a new Yukon water management framework that considers the relation of land and water resources and their uses. Given these emerging opportunities and the overdue need for change it is necessary to determine if an integrated approach can be applied in the Yukon as the foundation of such a water resources management framework. To this end an examination of both the legal and administrative tools for water management in the territory has been conducted. The results of this institutional analysis indicate that while a number of improvements have been made to the legal structure, several opportunities for further refinement exist within the administrative realm. The realization of these opportunities requires a number of adjustments be made to the administrative arrangements for territorial water management. These changes include the identification of a lead water management agency and the formulation of water management policy. Further, Yukon water management is shown to benefit from the consideration of cumulative resource use effects and the introduction of a planning component to the overall process of water administration.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season