A Qualitative Case Study Of Relationships Between Public Health And Municipal Drinking Water and Wastewater In Coral Harbour, Nunavut
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Wide health gaps exist between Canada’s Inuit population and their non-Indigenous counterparts in nearly all categories. Two basic public health protection principles in any community worldwide are access to safe drinking water and sanitary wastewater management. The purpose of this research was to explore the relationships between public health and municipal water and wastewater systems in Coral Harbour, Nunavut. Using a qualitative case study approach, I conducted 37 interviews with residents and key informants and thematically analyzed the data. Findings suggest that crowded households experiencing domestic water shortages may result in negative health consequences. As well, pre and early settlement water customs are influencing current public health risks thereby requiring special consideration by municipal planners. Given these findings, recommendations include increasing domestic water access, strengthening source water monitoring programs, and establishing intergovernmental public health policies that co-benefit water resource management agendas as well as other priority issues in Nunavut.