SAFE DRINKING WATER FOUNDATION

Viewpoint: Sask. rural water sources need different cleanup process

The reverse osmosis filters at the Yellow Quill First Nation's water treatment plant.

Larger Saskatchewan cities “import” great quality water from the Rocky Mountains via the South Saskatchewan River and, indirectly by the Buffalo Pound water treatment plant through diversions from Lake Diefenbaker. Unfortunately, many small municipalities and First Nations communities in Saskatchewan do not have good quality source water. Indeed, rural Saskatchewan has some of the poorest quality raw water sources anywhere. In terms of global water quality, we are right at the bottom. So much so that our provincial government felt it was necessary to condition our residents to accept drinking poorer quality water than most other people in the world.

Almost 50 Aboriginal Communities Have Lost Access to Safe Drinking Water Since 2016

While Ottawa is committed to making drinking water available to all of Canada's Aboriginal water systems by 2021, no less than 47 new drinking water advisories have been put in place since 2016, including 27 since the beginning of the year, according to data obtained by The Canadian Press. This situation leads several observers to believe that the Trudeau administration is likely not to meet its target of lifting all long-term advisories on systems funded by the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) by 2021, despite investments of $1.8 billion over the next five years.

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