Canada’s water supplies to get a boost with new federal regulations
Water sources and sanitation are expected to be among the key issues for Canadian citizens, with new regulations aimed at cutting down on the amount of water we use.
The federal government announced Friday that it will require municipalities to use less than 30 per cent of the nation’s total water capacity, and to provide residents with less than 10 per cent.
The new standards will also require water utilities to pay for the cost of providing clean drinking water to their customers, and it will also impose fines of up to $500 per household for violations.
The water system, which accounts for roughly one-third of Canada’s electricity, is currently operated by private corporations that pay for it with their own funds.
In addition, many of the provinces and territories have their own water systems that are not subject to the federal standard.
In Canada, water is a critical component of our health and safety, and the government is trying to ensure the country is running on clean water.
“We need to make sure that people are able to get the water they need, when they need it, in an efficient and cost-effective way,” Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told reporters Friday.
“And that includes a little bit of flexibility in terms of the amount that we can use.”
The new water standards come into effect in September.
The government expects they will cost the average household between $2,700 and $4,100.
The price tag for the new measures is expected to hit $5,500 to $6,500 per person.
The Liberals have been criticized by environmental groups for not making clear what exactly the water standards will mean for the environment, but McKenna said the changes are needed to ensure that people can get clean water in a safe and responsible way.
“The new water standard has been created in consultation with the communities of our country, and I am pleased to see that we have made progress in ensuring that we are meeting the needs of the Canadian people, particularly in areas like the Lower Mainland, and that we’re ensuring that our water system is being safe for people to drink,” she said.
The proposed changes will be in place by the end of the year.
The Liberal government says that they have made some progress on water conservation measures, but that there is still much more work to do.
“It is not enough to simply take action on one water problem, we must also address the broader issue of water pollution and waste,” McKenna said.
“There are many more issues we must address, including a new generation of innovative water technologies that can help us better manage our water resources, including water treatment and purification.”