Canadian Government Launches Project to Improve Water Quality for First Nations

Pilot projects will implement innovative drinking water systems to determine feasibility

The governments of Canada and Ontario announced the Canada-Ontario First Nations Pilot to Improve Drinking Water Quality, a new joint three-year initiative to use innovative and alternative drinking water systems to improve water quality in Ontario First Nation communities. The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corp. (OFNTSC) is also supporting this initiative with technical support to First Nations and tribal councils.

"Together, we are taking an important step towards improving on-reserve water by looking at innovative solutions that address the needs of First Nation communities," said the John Duncan, minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development. "This pilot project is a concrete example of our ongoing commitment to working with First Nations and other stakeholders to ensure that these communities have access to improved drinking water."

This initiative will support a select number of projects in Ontario First Nation communities, which may benefit from the use of innovative approaches to ensuring a high quality of drinking water for residents. The projects will pilot the use of innovative processes, technologies and strategies to determine if there are sustainable and economically viable options that can improve access to drinking water in these communities.

"Innovative approaches and technologies can play a key role in ensuring clean, safe drinking water," said John Wilkinson, Ontario minister of the environment. "We are committed to working with First Nations to protect their drinking water in ways that work for them."

The government of Canada will provide a total of $5 million in funding. The Ontario government and OFNTSC will provide technical support and training.

The First Nation communities selected for participation in this pilot project will be responsible for commissioning appropriate design and technology solutions for their communities through a request for proposals process.

"Innovative water technology combined with expert technical support will help First Nations deliver quality drinking water," said Bob Howsam, executive director of OFNTSC. "Innovation in the delivery of safe drinking water to First Nations will improve the quality of life for residents in First Nations. The OFNTSC is pleased to support First Nations in their attainment of innovative water technology through the Canada-Ontario First Nations Pilot to Improve Drinking Water Quality."


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