Ground Water Canada

News Contamination Environment Water Issues
Progress update: drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves


January 20, 2020
By Ground Water Canada

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Ottawa, Traditional Algonquin Territory – Canada is on track in its commitment to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021, said Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services, said in a news release from Indigenous Services Canada giving the department’s monthly progress update.

In December 2019, two short-term drinking water advisories were lifted from public systems on reserves and one drinking water advisory became long-term.

Little Red River Cree Nation (Alberta) lifted a short-term drinking water advisory from their John D’Or Prairie Public Water System on Dec. 4, 2019. The drinking water advisory, in effect since Sept. 12, 2019, was lifted following planned system maintenance.

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Wahpeton Dakota Nation (Saskatchewan) lifted a short-term drinking water advisory from their Wahpeton Dakota Nation Public Water System on Dec. 19, 2019. The drinking water advisory, in effect since March 6, 2019, was lifted following improvements in water treatment plant operations and monitoring.

Since November 2015, 148 short-term drinking water advisories have been lifted before becoming long-term.

A drinking water advisory in Shamattawa First Nation, in Manitoba, became long-term on Dec. 6, 2019, after being in place for more than 12 months. The advisory was put in place in December 2018 due to mechanical and operational issues with the water treatment infrastructure. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) continues to work in partnership with the First Nation to identify and implement a short-term solution. Plans to expand and upgrade the public water system for the long-term needs of the community are currently in early stages.

Between November 2015 and December 2019, 87 long-term advisories affecting public systems on reserves have been lifted. Since then another long-term advisory has been lifted. Another 57 long-term drinking water advisories remain in effect. For the most recent updates on lifting drinking water advisories, visit canada.ca/water-on-reserve.

In total, 574 water and wastewater projects have either been initiated or completed since the 2016 federal budget. These projects include new, upgraded or repaired infrastructure, and feasibility and design studies to ensure First Nations have the right infrastructure systems in place for growing communities. To date, 265 projects have been completed and another 309 are underway benefitting 606 First Nations communities across the country.