Long-term drinking water advisories lifted in two First Nation communities

Kahkewistahaw First Nation and Serpent River First Nation successfully end advisories

December 14, 2017     Ottawa, ON            Indigenous Services Canada

Everyone in Canada should have access to safe, clean, and reliable drinking water. Our government remains steadfast in our commitment – to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve by March 2021.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, was pleased to share progress on this commitment, with two First Nations recently lifting long-term drinking water advisories that have affected their communities for more than a year.

Upon Health Canada’s recommendation, Kahkewistahaw First Nation in Saskatchewan lifted the drinking water advisory on October 31, which had been in effect since June 3, 2015. The drinking water advisory at Serpent River First Nation in Ontario, which was in effect since September 1, 2015, was lifted on November 8.


“Every Canadian deserves access to clean drinking water. I am pleased to see progress on our commitment to ending all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve. I would specifically like to commend the people of Kahkewistahaw First Nation and Serpent River First Nation for their perseverance while these advisories remained in place. We are determined to work with partners to ensure that all First Nations communities enjoy accessible, clean drinking water.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick Facts

  • Budget 2016 provides $1.8 billion over five years to significantly improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure, ensure proper facility operation, maintenance, and support training of water system operations. Budget 2016 also included $141.7 million over five years in new funding to Health Canada to improve drinking water monitoring and testing on reserve.
  • Committing investments over five years allows for long-term planning to improve on-reserve water and wastewater systems.
  • As part of its plan to improve water and wastewater infrastructure, the Government of Canada invested approximately $1.4 million in repairs and upgrades at Kahkewistahaw’s water treatment system, and more than $12.3 million towards the construction of the new water treatment plant at Serpent River First Nation.
  • Between November 2015 and November 2017, 30 long-term DWAs were lifted on public water systems financially supported by Indigenous Services Canada through the work done in partnership with First Nation communities and partners. Twenty drinking water advisories were added during that same time. Indigenous Services Canada is working to address both at-risk and long-term drinking water advisories affecting public systems financially supported by the Department.
  • There are currently 67 long-term drinking water advisories affecting public systems that receive financial support from Indigenous Services Canada.

Associated Links


Andrew MacKendrick
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott

Media Relations
Department of Indigenous Services Canada


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