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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:

Latest news

Recently added long-term drinking water advisories

Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, ON as of January 21, 2020

A drinking water advisory in Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, in Ontario, became long-term on January 21, 2020, after being in place for more than 12 months. The advisory was put in place in January 2019 due to inadequate treatment and disinfection systems. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is currently working with the First Nation to advance the detailed design phase for the construction of a new water treatment plant and upgrades to the distribution system. With support from ISC, the First Nation has hired an engineering consultant to begin that work, as well as to examine options for an interim solution that would see the drinking water advisory resolved sooner.

Shamattawa First Nation, MB as of December 6, 2019

A drinking water advisory in Shamattawa First Nation, in Manitoba, became long-term on December 6, 2019 after being in place for more than 12 months. While Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) works with the First Nation to determine whether a short-term solution can be implemented to lift the drinking water advisory, a boil water advisory will remain in effect. ISC and the First Nation are working in partnership to advance a long-term solution that will meet the safe drinking water needs of the community. Plans to expand and upgrade the public water system are currently in early stages.

Little Pine First Nation, SK as of November 14, 2019

A drinking water advisory at Little Pine First Nation in Saskatchewan became long-term on November 14, 2019 after being in place for more than 12 months. The advisory was put in place in November 2018 due to mechanical and electrical issues. ISC is currently working with the First Nation to resolve the existing issues and on an expansion and upgrade project. It is not known at this time when the advisory will be lifted.

Recently lifted long-term drinking water advisories

Lac Seul First Nation, ON as of January 7, 2020

Lac Seul First Nation (Ontario) lifted a long-term drinking water advisory from the Kejick Bay water treatment plant on January 7, 2020. The drinking water advisory, in effect since February 2003, was lifted after the completion of a new water treatment plant in the community.

Recently removed long-term drinking water advisories

Clearwater River Dene First Nation, SK as of October 31, 2019

A long-term drinking water advisory has been de-activated on the Landing water system in Clearwater River Dene First Nation in Saskatchewan. The Landing in Clearwater River Dene First Nation is now receiving their drinking water from another source. As the system is no longer the community's drinking water source, the advisory has been de-activated and removed from the long-term drinking water advisory tracking.

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 reserve as of January 21, 2020
  • All long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves lifted by March 2021.
  • 88 long-term drinking water advisories lifted since November 2015.
  • 58 long-term drinking water advisories remain.
  • Projects underway or completed as of September 30, 2019:
    • 441 projects to repair, upgrade or build infrastructure
    • 59 supporting projects and initiatives
    • 74 feasibility studies and projects in the design phase

Long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

Description of long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves

This line graph depicts the number of long-term drinking water advisories in effect between November 2015 and January 21, 2020 and projected numbers of long-term drinking water advisories expected to be in effect by the end of June and December of each calendar year from 2018 through 2021. It also depicts the projected number of houses and community buildings affected by long-term advisories.

  • In November 2015 there were 105 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves.
  • As of January 21, 2020, 58 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves were in effect.
  • By end of June 2020 it is projected there will be 39 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves. Approximately 2,116 homes and 123 community buildings served by a public water system will be under advisory.
  • By end of December 2020, it is projected there will be 11 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves. Approximately 715 homes and 33 community buildings served by a public water system will be under advisory.
  • In March 2021 it is projected there will be 0 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves. Zero homes and community buildings served by a public water system will be under 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.

Explore the map for highlights of efforts underway across Canada

The Government of Canada is working with First Nations to end long-term drinking water advisories (LT-DWAs). In the table below, "LT-DWA" refers to long-term drinking water advisories which have been in effect for more than 12 months. ISC provides funding for public water systems that serve five or more household service connections for residences that are occupied year round. ISC also provides funding for public water systems serving public facilities funded through ISC. These water systems are managed and operated by the band, a band-owned utility or qualified third party under contract.

Visit Long-term advisories affecting water systems not financially supported by the Government of Canada South of 60.

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Results
L-T DWAs lifted since November 2015 on public systems ISC financially supported in lifting the L-T DWA: Current L-T DWAs on systems ISC financially supports in lifting the L-T DWA

Category Region First Nation Water system name Type of advisory Date advisory set Long term advisory since Actual/targeted resolution date Population Project phase Action
 
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