Ending long-term drinking water advisories

Everyone in Canada should have access to safe, clean drinking water. The Government of Canada is working with First Nations communities to achieve clean drinking water on reserves.

Latest news

Recently lifted long-term drinking water advisories

Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation as of December 21, 2022

Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation (MBQ) in Ontario has lifted 2 long-term drinking water advisories. The advisories affected the MBQ Airport Public Water System, which had been in place since October 2003, and the MBQ Clifford Maracle's Well Public Water System, which had been in place since 2012. The long-term drinking water advisories were lifted after the homes and buildings were connected to the First Nation's water distribution system and the existing wells were decommissioned.

Mississaugas of Scugog Island as of December 15, 2021

Four long-term drinking water advisories on the Mississaugas of Scugog Island water treatment systems in Ontario were lifted on December 15, 2021. The advisories, in place since October 2008, were lifted after a new water treatment plant was built and extensive upgrades to the water distribution system were completed. The new plant and distribution system upgrades support the community's current and long-term drinking water needs. The water produced by the system meets the applicable drinking water guidelines. Now, 49 homes along with the community's Health Centre, Band Office and other buildings now have reliable access to safe drinking water.

Wabaseemoong Independent Nations as of December 6, 2021

The long-term drinking water advisory affecting the Whitedog Public Water System in Wabaseemoong Independent Nations has been lifted, effective December 6, 2021. The advisory, which had been in effect since August 2017, was lifted following the completion of upgrades and repairs to the water treatment plant and distribution system. Performance testing was completed successfully and the system is producing water-meeting applicable requirements. Operational supports are provided to the community through the ISC-funded Centralized Water and Wastewater Hub delivered by the Bimose Tribal Council.

Recently added long-term drinking water advisories

Mishkeegogamang First Nation as of January 7, 2022

A drinking water advisory in Mishkeegogamang First Nation in Ontario on the New Osnaburgh Water Treatment System became long-term on Friday, January 7, 2022. The advisory was put into place in January 2021 as a result of inconsistent plant and water quality monitoring. An assessment of the plant also identified some necessary repairs and upgrades to the treatment process. and Indigenous Services Canada has approved funding to support the upgrades to the plant. The work is scheduled for completion in March 2022 and will meet the immediate drinking water needs of the community, while the design and construction of a long-term solution is implemented.

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Long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

Description of Long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of January 7, 2022

126 long-term drinking water advisories lifted since November 2015.

37 long-term drinking water advisories in effect in 29 communities.

  • In 2015 there were 3 long-term drinking water advisories added and 4 lifted.
  • In 2016 there were 10 long-term drinking water advisories added and 17 lifted.
  • In 2017 there were 13 long-term drinking water advisories added and 19 lifted.
  • In 2018 there were 10 long-term drinking water advisories added and 38 lifted.
  • In 2019 there were 6 long-term drinking water advisories added and 9 advisories lifted.
  • In 2020 there were 13 long-term drinking water advisories added 11 advisories lifted.
  • In 2021 there were 7 long-term drinking water advisories added 28 advisories lifted.
  • In 2022 there was 1 long-term drinking water advisory added and 0 advisories lifted.

Progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

Commitment: End all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve
Description of progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of January 7, 2022

Progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories

  • 77% advisory lifted.
  • 8% project construction complete. Drinking water advisory lift pending.
  • 13% project to lift drinking water advisory under construction.
  • 1% project to lift drinking water advisory in design phase.
  • 1% feasibility study being conducted to address drinking water advisory.

Ensuring essential infrastructure

The Government of Canada works with First Nations to address health and safety needs, ensure proper facility operation and maintenance, and to prevent short-term advisories from becoming long-term.

Ending a drinking water advisory is often complex, spanning multiple phases. Actions to resolve a water or wastewater issue can include:

Completion of a new water treatment system can take 3 to 4 years on average to complete. See the Life-cycle of a First Nations community infrastructure project.

Eliminating long-term drinking water advisories is just one part of ensuring First Nations communities have reliable access to safe drinking water: Investing in water and wastewater infrastructure.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) financially supports public on-reserve water and wastewater systems. Here is a list of Long-term drinking water advisories affecting water systems South of 60 not financially supported by the Government of Canada.

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