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External Reports

A number of reports have been done in recent years concerning water resource management locally, regionally and provincially. Selected reports have been included in this section.

DRAFT – Turbidity Decision Tree – Jan 2013 Post Consultation – January 2013. The Ministry of Health has released a revised decision tree for determining health risks associated with elevated turbidity levels in unfiltered drinking water. This revised document gathered feedback from the health authorities and water suppliers from throughout the province regarding the original Turbidity Decision Tree that was released in April 2009.

Guideline for Canadian Drinking Water Quality  –  update August 2012. The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality are established by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water (CDW) and published by Health Canada. This summary table is updated regularly and published on Health Canada’s website (www.healthcanada.gc.ca/waterquality). It supersedes all previous electronic and printed versions, including the 6th edition of the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (1996).

Drinking Water Treatment Objectives – March 2012. BC’s Ministry of Health recently released this long awaited guideline for surface water treatment of potable water supplies for British Columbia at the 2012 BCWWA conference in Penticton. This document provides province-wide guidance for appropriate treatment methods for dealing with pathogens in surface water supplies.

Turbidity in Drinking Water – October, 2011.  The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water (CDW) has assessed the available information on turbidity with the intent of establishing a drinking water guideline. The purpose of this consultation is to solicit comments on the proposed guideline, on the approach used for its development and on the potential economic costs of implementing it, as well as to determine the availability of additional exposure data. Comments are requested prior to January 27, 2012.

Waterproof 3 – November, 2011. This report card from Ecojustice (formerly the Sierra Legal Defense Fund) provides a critical review of the state of Drinking Water across Canada by jurisdiction. Each province and territory are assigned three grades: a grade for source water protection efforts; a grade for other drinking water protection efforts (the factors compared in previous reports); and an overall grade.

Drinking Water Program Audit – June, 2011. This audit evaluates the performance of Interior Health Authority’s Drinking Water Program, specifically its performance as the regulator of large drinking water systems (more than 300 connections) across the health authority region. The audit concludes IHA’s Drinking Water Program is achieving expectations laid out in the Drinking Water Protection Act and addresses many of`the Ombudsmans recommendations in the  2008 report: Fit to Drink: Challenges in Providing Safe Drinking Water in B.C.

Turbidity Decision Tree Evaluation Report – June 2011. The Provincial Ombudsman released a report in June 2008 on the investigation into the Province’s regulation of drinking water.  This report found that there is inconsistency in how the Regional Health Authorities assess when a Water Quality Advisory is required due to turbidity.  The recommendation was to create a standard for issuing turbidity advisories that is consistent across the province. The Turbidity Decision Tree was released in April of 2009 (see below) and this report provides a review of its effectiveness and describes improvements that will be made to the tool.

Revised Protocol for Public Notification – April 2009. The Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport has released a revised (draft) guideline for water utilities to assess and communicate risk about unfiltered surface water supplies. These guidelines apply province-wide and replace the Interior Health Turbidity Notification Program. Additional information from IH about the program can be downloaded here: Turbidity Package.

Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy: Action Plan 1.0 – October 2008. This report identifies key water management challenges in the water stressed Okanagan Valley and provides strategies and recommendations that promote sustainable water resource management. The report is the product of the Water Stewardship Committee, which is a diverse group of experts who volunteer their time and efforts to grapple with water management issues and report to the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Fit to Drink: Challenges in Providing Safe Drinking Water in British Columbia – June 2008. Ombudsman Kim Carter’s report into how the provincial government and regional health authorities can improve the processes that ensure the safety of drinking water provides 39 recommendations to accomplish this goal. Key among the recommendations is that health authorities develop better systems for dealing with complaints about water quality and put more resources toward effective public communications.

Turbidity and Microbial Risk in Drinking Water – February 2008. The Minister of Health, George Abbott, has released a report on the management of drinking water systems in British Columbia. The report was prepared by an internationally recognized committee of water experts that had been appointed by the Minister to look into the effectiveness of using turbidity as an indicator for assessing risk in public water supplies, as well as the use of public water quality advisories as a means of communicating risk. The report concludes that turbidity alone is not a predictive indicator of health risk and that advisories are often misunderstood by the public and may be ignored.

Okanagan Partnership – Okanagan Water Management – October 2004. The Okanagan Partnership is a group of concerned individuals looking at issues affecting economic development in the Okanagan region. Water resource management is one of the areas identified by the Okanagan Partnership as a key driver in economic growth in the region. This discussion paper proposes a coordinated approach to regional water management and prescribes a governance model and mandate to accomplish this goal. The Water Supply Association Of BC was asked by the Okanagan Basin Water Board to provide comment of the OP proposal and did so in the attached document: WSABC comment.

Expanding the Dialogue on Climate Change & Water Management in the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia – June 2004. This report provides a starting point for multi-stakeholder discussion on the implication of climate change for water resource management in the Okanagan Valley. Climate, hydrological and demand scenarios are discussed, profiles of adaptation options are presented and dialogue with stakeholders on regional perspectives on adapting to climate change are presented.

Okanagan Reservoir Lake Project–  December 2003. This report looks at the potential water quality impacts of a proposal to sell 141 crown land leases located on 16 drinking water reservoirs throughout the Okanagan Valley highlands. A review of this report has been done by the Water Supply Association of B.C. and a copy can be viewed at WSABC review.

Drinking Water Review Panel Report on the Drinking Water Protection Act – February 2002. This independent panel included the Chair of the Water Supply Association of BC, Bruce Wilson. The purpose of the panel was to review the Drinking Water Protection Act and provide recommendations on its completeness, effectiveness and efficiency to the Ministers of Water, Land and Air Protection and Health Services. The report recommended a number of changes to the Act, most of which were not implemented prior to the legislation being enacted in May of 2003.

Walkerton Report 1 Summary – 2002. The tragic events of Walkerton Ontario resulted in the review of drinking water regulations and legislation in every province in Canada. This report by the Honourable Dennis O’Conner summarizes the findings of the public inquiry into the Walkerton tragedy. The full reports One and Two can be found on the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General’ web page.

Provincial Health Officer – Drinking Water Quality in BC – 2001. This annual report for 2000 from the office of the Provincial Health Officer provides a thorough review of public health and water systems throughout the province. This is a particularly rich source for statistical information on water systems throughout the province.

The Effects of Recreation on Drinking Water Quality within the Lambly, Kelowna and Mission Creek Watersheds –  2000. This report provides an investigation into the potential impacts of recreation on source drinking water quality for three Central Okanagan Watersheds.

Auditor General BC – Protecting Source Water – 1999. This report examines the provincial government’s source water protection measures and makes recommendations as to how the safety of the public water supply could be improved. Twenty-six recommendations to improve the safety of the water supply through reorganization and streamlining of the bureaucracy are provided.