Sharing environmental health practice in the North American Arctic: a focus on water and wastewater service

J Environ Health. 2007 Apr;69(8):50-5, 56, 58.


While providing water and wastewater services in rural Alaska has traditionally been difficult, the task has become even more challenging in the new millennium. A combination of factors has increased the cost and complexity of water and wastewater systems while leaving residents with diminished ability to pay for services. Alaskans may be better able to meet these challenges by learning more about and adopting some approaches used in similar regions. In March 2005, the author visited six communities in the Canadian Northwest Territories (NWT). Made possible by NEHA's Sabbatical Exchange Ambassador Award, these visits provided the author an opportunity to learn about the NWT approach to providing water and wastewater services. He then compiled comprehensive descriptions of each region's service delivery model. Comparisons were made, and features of interest were identified and used to develop recommendations for improving service delivery in rural Alaska.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alaska
  • Environmental Health / methods*
  • Northwest Territories
  • Rural Population
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Water Supply*