Waterline: Funding Announced for Safe Drinking Water

To make sure small water systems in British Columbia thrive, Health Minister Terry Lake today announced $500,000 in funding for the BC Water & and Waste Association.

Thinkstock178642777 - water in hands“I made a commitment at the Union of BC Municipalities last year that we would develop a plan to help communities address small water systems challenges,” said Lake. “These systems are critical to the health and wellbeing of British Columbians living in rural and remote communities and this funding will support the training needed to make sure the proper safeguards are in place now and in the long-term.”

A provincial government report found that water systems operators would benefit from additional supports and financial planning training. The ministry will work with the association to engage communities that have small water systems to ensure safe water comes out their taps so health risks and boil water advisories are reduced.

Training for system managers will include workshops, webinars and coaching with the goal of improving local governance and stability. The plan will be operational in early 2016.

“The BC Water & Waste Association is committed to working with government, industry and small water system owners and operators to ensure our systems provide safe and sustainable water services,” said David Main, BC Water & Waste Association president.

“I appreciate Minister Lake’s attention to the longstanding issue of BC’s small water systems,” said Union of BC Municipalities president Sav Dhaliwal. “We are glad to see a provincial commitment to improving small water systems in the province that includes funding to build capacity through outreach and education. We look forward to continued work with the Ministry of Health to safeguard the health of all British Columbians that rely on small systems for their drinking water.”

There are approximately 4,500 water systems in British Columbia and the vast majority are considered to be small operations. Small water systems provide service for up to 500 people. They can be operated by Improvement Districts, Regional Districts, municipalities, resorts, campgrounds or individuals. These systems are estimated to serve about 400,000 people throughout the province.

Source: BC Gov News | September 22, 2015



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