First Nation Water
HORSE LAKE FIRST NATION, AB: NEW WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM BRINGS SAFE WATER TO COMMUNITY
This story is brought to you in part by Proteus Waters
By Cori Marshall
On September 19, 2018, Horse Lake First Nation, a Treaty 8 Territory in Alberta along with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) announced the opening of a new water treatment facility in the community.
According to the press release the community's previous treatment system "was constructed in the 1980's and required a significant overhaul." The new system cost $10 million and required a $9.5 million injection from ISC to complete the project.
The new facility was completed in the spring and has been in operation since early August. At the announcement Horse Lake First Nation Chief, Ramona Horseman, said "it has been a very big change in our water." She added that "this was years in coming, but we now know we have great water."
The groundwater will undergo "dual media filtration, reverse osmosis membranes, and ultra-violet radiation," before it reaches community homes.
Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, was on-hand for the announcement. Minister Philpott was quoted as saying that "the government remains committed to working in partnership with First Nations to ensure that everyone in Canada has access to clean, reliable drinking water."
The project in Horse Lake First Nation is part of the government's commitment to First Nation Communities and ending all long-term drinking water advisories by March 2021.
The latest update on the current state of the situation, demonstrating both the seriousness of the situation and the progress that is being made. There are currently 70 long-term drinking water advisories on systems that ISC supports. There have been 70 long-term drinking water advisories that have been lifted since November 2015. Another thirty-five have been added to the list since that time.
ISC currently has begun or completed projects that will ensure safe drinking water in 587 First Nation communities and will serve well over 400 thousand people. In Budget 2016 the federal government allocated "$1.8 billion over five years to support clean drinking water and the treatment of wastewater on reserve," as well as $141.7 million over the same period for water monitoring and testing.
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