Small Water Systems Update

The significance of small water systems challenges emerged both in forum agendas and provincial announcements at the 2015 UBCM Convention. Following a commitment made at the 2014 Convention, Minister of Health Terry Lake announced $500,000 in funding for the BC Water and Waste Association to help communities address small water systems issues.

At the Electoral Area Directors Forum, Chair Art Kaehn provided an update on the Province’s response to UBCM recommendations regarding small water systems challenges. Chair Kaehn highlighted key commitments made by the Province in correspondence to UBCM, including:

  • planned implementation of a UBCM recommendation for reducing the regulatory burden for water supply systems with less than five conditions;
  • guidance for Ministry of Transportation Approving Officers to prevent the creation of unsustainable small water systems;
  • guidance for local governments considering subdivision approvals within their authority;
  • investigating the feasibility of loan programs with financial institutions for existing small water systems needing investment to meet potable water standards;
  • exploring the requirements for registration of non-potable water conditions on land title; and
  • building upon and promoting outreach programs to ensure small water systems have access to technical and financial best practices and other educational resources.

UBCM continues to monitor the efforts of the inter-ministry committee working on the recommendations.

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