Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Water report: 10 years after Walkerton - #NWT C; #Yukon D+; #Nunavut D

Uneven water standards putting some Canadians at risk more than 10 years after Walkerton: report

'...At the bottom of the list were Alberta (C-), the Northwest Territories (C), the Yukon (D+) and Nunavut (D)... The report expected those at the bottom of the list to improve their standing in the coming years, especially in the Northwest Territories, where an "ambitious review of its water laws" is underway...."


Waterproof 3 - Canada's Drinking Water Report Card
Info graphic
Download the Report:
The Essentials
3 page summary of Waterproof 3 
Full Report
Download the pdf file
Press release:
National Press Release

"...the Northwest Territories [...] provide[s] a statutory right to make a complaint about drinking water concerns that must be investigated...."

"...In 2006, all jurisdictions required accredited labs to test water samples. this year, the number fell to 12 as the Northwest Territories no longer requires water samples be analyzed at accredited labs.
In 2006, every jurisdiction except Newfoundland and Labrador, new Brunswick, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut had operator certification programs. This year, only Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories lack operator certification programs."

"...Another fail for the federal government
Federal management of water — for places like first nations reserves, military bases and federal parks — still fails to meet basic benchmarks for safe consumption. in this report card, we find that the federal government is failing in almost every aspect of water protection, even though it should be setting rigorous standards for allowable contaminant levels in our drinking water...."

"...Federal Failure
Canada's federal government gets another 'f' for its poor drinking water protection record, which continues to worsen.
• no progress has been made on the legislative front and there has been little improvement in the quality of water for first nations communities.
• drastic budget cuts virtually guarantee that environment Canada will continue its inability to properly monitor water quality,
as described in a recent auditor general's report. http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_201012_02_e_34425.html
• some drinking water improvement funds are available only to municipalities that engage in public-private partnerships...."

"...Conclusion - in previous editions of this series, our findings led us to conclude that the biggest risks to drinking water came from gaps or deficiencies in the frontlines of drinking water protection — the laws, programs, policies and personnel directly responsible for delivering safe and clean drinking water.
But now the gravest threat, according to our research and analysis, is that improvements to these frontlines may be undermined by other forces, including pollution from constantly-evolving contaminants, government cutbacks and climate change. each of these factors alone makes a compelling case for why governments must introduce comprehensive and legally-binding plans to protect water at the source — before it reaches our treatment centres and distribution systems.
We possess the capacity to improve our health and our children's health, and we believe Canada can rise to the challenge...."

Northwest Territories Waters act, sC 1992, c 39, s 4, online:

Northwest Territories Min. environment and natural resources,
NWT Water stewardship: a plan for action 2011-2015 (May 2011), online: http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/_live/ documents/content/nWt_Water_strategy_action_plan.pdf

Northwest Territories
The Legislative assembly has passed a motion recognizing a fundamental right to water. All waters are vested in the Crown.

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