Policies and Guidelines

Applicants for Land Use Permits and Water Licences are encouraged to be familiar with the Acts and Regulations that govern the use of land and water, and the deposit of waste in the Mackenzie Valley. The Resources section of our website is dedicated to providing helpful and accurate information to all stakeholders. If you have ideas for content that would be helpful, please contact Shalyn Norrish at 867-765-4585 or via email

Land and Water Board Documents

*Please note that as a result of devolution, as of April 1, 2014, legislative references have changed. Relevant products will be updated to reflect these changes. 

Should you have any questions regarding these documents, please contact Angela Plautz.


Land and Water Board Transboundary Policy (2019)

MVLWB Engagement and Consultation Policy (2018)

Information for Proponents on the MVLWB's Engagement Requirements

MVLWB Water and Effluent Quality Management Policy (2011)

MVLWB Water Use Fee Policy (2013)


MVLWB Guide to the Water Licensing Process (2020)

MVLWB Guide to the Land Use Permitting Process (2020)

MVLWB Guideline for the Design, Operation, Monitoring, Maintenance and Closure of Petroleum Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soil Treatment Facilities in the Northwest Territories (2020)

MVLWB/GNWT Guidelines for Aquatic Effects Monitoring Programs (2019) 

MVLWB Engagement Guidelines for Applicants and Holders of Water Licences and Land Use Permits (2018)

MVLWB/GNWT/INAC Guidelines for Closure and Reclamation Cost Estimates for Mines (2017)

MVLWB/GNWT Guidelines for Effluent Mixing Zones (2017)

MVLWB Guideline for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Submission (2016)

MVLWB Guidelines for the Closure and Reclamation of Advanced Mineral Exploration and Mine Sites in the Northwest Territories (2013)

MVLWB Guidelines for Developing a Waste Management Plan (2011)


MVLWB Standard Land Use Permit Conditions Template Version 2.3 (.word) (.pdf) (2020)

MVLWB Standard Water Licence Conditions and Schedules - Basic (.word) (.pdf) (2020)

MVLWB Document Submission Standards (2019)

MVLWB Standard Process for New Conditions (2013)

MVLWB Standard Outline for Management Plans (2013)


MVLWB/GNWT Operation and Maintenance Plan Templates for Municipal Water Licences:

Sewage Disposal Facilities (SDF) (2018)

Solid Waste Disposal Facilities (SWDF) (2018)

Water Treatment Plant (WTP) (2018)

Spill Contingency Plan (2018)


MVLWB City of Yellowknife Determination – August 18, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions – City of Yellowknife Determination

Memorandums of Understanding 

MOU - MVLWB & Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations (2014)

MOU - MVLWB & National Energy Board (2013) 

MOU - MVLWB & Parks Canada (2012) 


DRAFT Standard Water Licence Conditions - Schedules 

DRAFT - LWB Land Use Security Estimate Tool - User Manual

DRAFT - LWB Land Use Security Estimate Tool 

DRAFT - Method for Determining Available Winter Water Volumes for Small-Scale Projects (.word) (.pdf)

DRAFT - Technical Reference Document for the Method for Determining Available Winter Water Volumes for Small-Scale Projects

External Documents

The following documents were not created by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, and may serve as technical reference resources and supplementary information for the above MVLWB documents. 

Aquatic Effects Monitoring Programs

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC, NT Region). Guidelines for Designing and Implementing Aquatic Effects Monitoring Programs for Development Projects in the NWT:  Vol. 4. (2008)

INAC - Guidelines for Designing and Implementing Aquatic Effects Monitoring Programs for Development Projects in the Northwest Territories (2009)


Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center - Archaeological Guidelines for Developers

Consultation and Engagement

INAC - Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation:  Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Duty to Consult (2011)

Professional Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) - E3Plus:  A Framework for Responsible Exploration:  Principles and Guidance (2014)

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) - Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation 

Environmental Assessment

Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines (2004)

MVEIRB Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Guidelines – Chapter 1 (2007)

MVEIRB Guidelines for Incorporating Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Impact Assessment (2005)

Integrated Environmental Assessment Management – Linking Environmental Assessment to Environmental Regulation Through Adaptive Management (2011)

Land Use Planning

Gwich’in Land Use Plan - Nành’ Geenjit Gwitr’it T’igwaa’in (Working for the Land) (2003)

Sahtu Land Use Plan (2013)

Sahtu Land Use Plan Implementation Guide

Tlicho Land Use Plan - Tłı ̨chǫ Wenek’e (2013)

Mine Closure and Reclamation

GNWT - RECLAIM 7.0 Model for Estimating Reclamation Costs - User Manual: Oil and Gas Version (2017)

GNWT - RECLAIM 7.0 Spreadsheet – Oil and Gas (2017)

GNWT - RECLAIM 7.0 Model for Estimating Reclamation Costs - User Manual: Mining Version (2017)

GNWT - RECLAIM 7.0 Spreadsheet – Mining (2017)

INAC - Mine Site Reclamation Policy for the NWT (2007)

INAC - Cold Regions Cover System Design Technical Guidance Document (MEND Report 1.16.5c) (2012)

Northern Land Use Guidelines

GNWT - Seismic Operations (2015)

GNWT - Camp & Support Facilities (2015)

GNWT - Pits & Quarries (2015)

GNWT - Access: Roads and Trails (2015)


NT-NU Spill Report Form

INAC Guidelines for Spill Contingency Planning (2007): These Guidelines were adopted by the MVLWB in 2009.

NWT Hazardous Spill Database Report (2016-2017): This report contains copied information regarding spills that were reported to the Northwest Territories 24-Hour Spill Report Line. For the most up to date information regarding spills please visit Environment and National Resources Hazardous Materials Spills Database at http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/node/3002. Information contained in this data set may change as updates to spill reports are received.   

Waste Management

The following are documents to assist with managing waste (as referenced throughout the MVLWB’s Solid Waste Facility template):

Household Hazardous Wastes (referenced on page 7)

Drum Disposal Protocol for Municipal Landfill

Municipal Solid Wastes Suitable for Open Burning

Guide to Recycling Mercury-Containing Lamps

Guideline for the Management of Waste Antifreeze

Guidelines for the Management of Waste Asbestos

Guideline for the Management of Waste Batteries

Guideline for the Management of Waste Lead and Lead Paint

Used Oil and Waste Fuel Management Regulations – Plain Language Guide

Environmental Guideline for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) and Halocarbon Alternatives

Water/Effluent Quality

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) - Fish Screen Design Criteria for Flood and Water Truck Pumps (2011)

CCME - Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life: Site-Specific Guidance (2003)

GNWT - Environmental Guideline for Contaminated Site Remediation (2003)

GNWT - Guidelines for the Planning, Design, Operations and Maintenance of Modified Solid Waste Sites in the Northwest Territories (2003)

INAC - Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) Guidelines (1996)