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.

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Recently lifted long-term drinking water advisories

Mishkeegogamang First Nation as of January 19, 2024

The long-term drinking water advisory affecting Mishkeegogamang First Nation's public water system, in Ontario, was lifted January 19, 2024. Interim updates to the existing water treatment plant were completed. Ongoing support, including mentorship and training for local operators, is provided by the Centralized Water and Wastewater Hub, delivered by Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation and funded by ISC. The First Nation is working on a long-term solution including additional upgrades and expansion to the water treatment plant.

Recently added long-term drinking water advisories

English River First Nation as of May 14, 2024

The drinking water advisory affecting English River First Nation's La Plonge public water system, in Saskatchewan, became long-term on May 14, 2024, as it has been in effect for more than 12 months. This advisory affects 43 homes and was initially put in place due to low pressure in the distribution system. The community is working on upgrades to their water treatment plant to address the issue. The community is keeping the advisory in place during the construction phase as there may be system disruptions.

Miawpukek First Nation as of December 20, 2023

The drinking water advisory affecting Miawpukek First Nation's Conne River public water system, in Newfoundland, became long-term on December 20, 2023, as it has been in effect for more than 12 months. This advisory affects 35 homes and is due to low pressure in the distribution system. The community developed a plan to address the issue including installation of booster pumps and water treatment plant upgrades.

Long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of May 14, 2024

Text alternative for: Long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of May 14, 2024

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

29 long-term drinking water advisories are in effect in 27 communities.

  • 2024: 1 long-term drinking water advisories added and 1 lifted
  • 2023: 3 long-term drinking water advisories added and 6 lifted
  • 2022: 7 long-term drinking water advisories added and 11 lifted
  • 2021: 7 long-term drinking water advisories added and 28 lifted
  • 2020: 13 long-term drinking water advisories added and 11 lifted
  • 2019: 6 long-term drinking water advisories added and 9 lifted
  • 2018: 10 long-term drinking water advisories added and 38 lifted
  • 2017: 13 long-term drinking water advisories added and 19 lifted
  • 2016: 10 long-term drinking water advisories added and 17 lifted
  • 2015: 3 long-term drinking water advisories added and 4 lifted

Progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of May 14, 2024

Commitment: End all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve
Text alternative for: Progress on lifting long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves as of May 14, 2024
  • 83% advisory lifted
  • 10% project to address advisory complete, lift pending
  • 4% project to address advisory under construction
  • 2% project to address advisory in design phase
  • 1% feasibility study being conducted to address advisory

Ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water

Ending a long-term drinking water advisory is a complex process and requires collaboration between First Nations communities and the Government of Canada. Actions to resolve a water or wastewater issue can include:

Initiatives are underway in each community to address the remaining long-term drinking water advisories. The decision to lift a long-term drinking water advisory lies with a community's chief and council, based on recommendations from environmental public health officers.

There are different types of drinking water advisories in First Nations communities. To learn more about why and when they are issued, visit About drinking water advisories.

Eliminating long-term drinking water advisories is just 1 part of ensuring First Nations communities have reliable access to safe drinking water: 

The timeline of every water and wastewater infrastructure project differs. For example, completion of a new water treatment system can take 3 to 4 years to complete. See the Life-cycle of a First Nations community infrastructure project.

In addition to resolving long-term drinking water advisories, work is also underway to support community infrastructure projects on reserve to build a sustainable foundation and increase reliable access to clean drinking water for generations to come.

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