VICTORIA, BC – The port city of Prince Rupert is getting critical upgrades to its aging water distribution system and sewer line after a federal investment of $77.2 million through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF).

Announced by Minister Soraya Martinez Ferrada and Mayor Herb Pond, this project will address critical concerns with the City’s water distribution infrastructure, increase its resilience to seismic events, and modernize its century-old sewage pipes.

“We are transforming Prince Rupert into one of Canada’s most important gateway cities; securing a trade corridor that boosts communities right across Canada,” said Pond.  “But we can’t do it alone.  It’s why this unprecedented investment by our federal partners is so meaningful. Their commitment to growing economic opportunities across the corridor remains steadfast. We are grateful to be part of it.”

Federal funding will support the modernization of the water and wastewater infrastructure to increase the City’s resilience to natural hazards and their impact. Once completed, it will also help secure the water supply and sewer pipe systems to protect community members’ livelihoods, essential services, and local businesses, and minimize disruptions to the flow of global trade and supply chains through the Port of Prince Rupert. Home to Canada’s third largest port, Prince Rupert is a gateway to Asia’s markets, which contributes significantly to the northern provincial and national economy.

“Prioritizing resiliency against natural disasters is at the heart of projects like this one and more important than ever, in the face of increasing forest fires, floods, and other extreme events in B.C.,” said Ferrada. “Improving Prince Rupert’s water and wastewater infrastructure will strengthen resilience against seismic events and protect livelihoods, and the community’s national importance as a growing port city and gateway to global markets and trade.”

With a high proportion of pipes installed in the early 1900s, Prince Rupert’s water distribution network requires major updates. Funding will support upgrades to 26 km of high priority watermains and the separation of the combined sewer system to divide storm water from sewage. Work will include excavation, stabilization of the soil, the installation of new PVC piping, and upgrading catchments. This announcement furthers a provincial investment of $65 million from March 2023 towards the critical water infrastructure renewal.

Making adaptation investments now will have major economy-wide benefits later. Every dollar that is invested in adapting and preparing for natural disasters can return as much as $13 to $15 in benefits.

Quick facts

  • The federal government is investing $77.2 million in this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), while the municipality is contributing $50.8 million. The provincial government announced$65 million in funding on March 17, 2023.
  • Since 2018, the federal government has committed over $3.8 billion to the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. As part of the Adaptation Action Plan, released alongside the National Adaptation Strategy, the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund received an additional $489.1 million in funding.
  • To date, over $2.41 billion has been announced for 92 infrastructure projects across the country that help communities better prepare for, and withstand, the potential impacts of natural disasters, prevent infrastructure failures, and help keep Canadians safe.
  • Eligible recipients include municipalities, local governments, provinces and territories, public sector bodies, Indigenous organizations, not-for-profit, and for-profit organizations in partnership with other eligible applicants outside the private sector. Projects must have a minimum of $1 million in total eligible costs to be considered eligible.
  • On November 24, 2022, the federal government released Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy: Building Resilient Communities and a Strong EconomyIt commits $1.6 billion in new federal funding to help address both immediate and future climate risks to Canadian communities.
  • Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups.
  • Federal funding is conditional on the signing of funding/contribution agreements.


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