Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Release Annual Report for 2013/2014

In his 2013/14 Annual report "Managing New Challenges" Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner comments on many areas of provincial activity. In the water sector, they are recommending that the Ministry of Environment require municipalities to recover the full costs of their drinking water systems. The summary of the relevant section is below. Or access the complete report from the Commissioner webpage.

Fourteen Years after Walkerton: Drinking Water System not at Cost Recovery
Following the contamination of Walkerton’s drinking water in May 2000, the Ontario government appointed a commission to inquire into the deadly incident. Among its many recommendations, the Walkerton Commission made two focused on ensuring that municipal drinking water providers can adequately finance the total costs of their systems. A municipality that can self-sufficiently recoup the full costs of its drinking water system can more reliably provide clean, safe drinking water to its residents into the future. The ECO asked all 293 Ontario municipalities holding drinking water licences about their financial planning and cost recovery status. Their responses indicate that many municipalities are still not assessing and recovering the full costs of their drinking water systems, putting the sustainability of these systems at risk. Fourteen years after the Walkerton tragedy, the ECO recommends that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change require municipalities to recover the full costs of their drinking water systems. Read more in Part 5.5 of the ECO’s 2013/2014 Annual Report

Canadian Water and Wastewater Association