Seamus O’Regan, minister of indigenous services, provided the department’s monthly progress update on the government’s commitment to end long-term drinking water advisories.
In March 2019, one long-term drinking water advisory was lifted. Two short-term drinking water advisories at risk of becoming long-term were also lifted, from public systems on reserves. No long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves were added.
A long-term drinking water advisory was lifted in:
- Nekaneet, in Saskatchewan, lifted a long-term drinking water advisory on March 4, 2019, following operational improvements and repairs to the community’s water treatment and distribution system. The advisory had been in effect since October 26, 2017.
Short-term drinking water advisories lifted before becoming long-term:
- Buffalo River Dene Nation, in Saskatchewan, lifted a short-term advisory from the Peter Pond No. 193 Public Water System on March 20, 2019, after the installation and commissioning of a new water treatment process in the existing water treatment plant. A new process allows for proper treatment of the lake water to meet the demands of the community. The advisory had been in effect since April 30, 2018.
- The Key First Nation, in Saskatchewan, lifted a short-term drinking water advisory from the Key No. 65 Public Water System on March 7, 2019, after repairs to the water treatment system. The advisory had been in effect since December 14, 2018.
“We will continue to work in partnership with First Nations to lift all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021,” said Seamus O’Regan, minister of indigenous services. “More progress was made in March, with more work to come. Canadians can continue following our progress at ending long-term drinking water advisories.”
The number of long-term drinking water advisories affecting public systems on reserves has declined from 105 in November 2015, to 59 as of March 31, 2019.
First Nations and the Government of Canada will continue this important work to lift the remaining long-term drinking water advisories on public systems, complete the water and wastewater projects underway now, and bridge the gap in essential infrastructure on reserves.