Name of Horizontal Initiative: First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan (FNWWAP)
Name of lead department(s): Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
Lead department program: Community Infrastructure
Start date of the Horizontal Initiative: April 1, 2008
End date of the Horizontal Initiative: March 31, 2014
Total federal funding allocation (start to end date): $2,330,800,000
$735,639,806 for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. Of this amount, $202,500,000 in each of 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 are funded from existing reference levels. New funds of $165,318,143 in 2008-2009 and $165,321,663 in 2009-2010, including employee benefit plans and Public Works and Government Services Canada accommodation requirements were sourced from the Fiscal Framework, as confirmed in Budget 2008. Budget 2010 extended the program for an additional two years, with an additional $845,547,800 in investments into water and wastewater infrastructure, including funds from existing reference levels.
Over 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, the Government of Canada has allocated $749,466,828 to fund on-reserve water/wastewater infrastructure and complementary activities through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan (FNWWAP) - $671 million through AANDC and an additional $64.8 million through Health Canada (HC). This includes a Budget 2012 commitment of $330.8 million in targeted funding.
Description of the Horizontal Initiative (including funding agreement): The prime objective of the FNWWAP is to support First Nation communities on reserves in bringing their drinking water and wastewater services to a level and quality of service comparable to those enjoyed by Canadians living in communities of similar size and location. There are five key activity areas in the FNWWAP: infrastructure investments; operations and maintenance; training; monitoring and awareness; and standards.
To meet the objectives of the FNWWAP, several program enhancements have been introduced, including a national engineering assessment of existing water and wastewater facilities; consultations on a new federal legislative framework for safe drinking water; increased training through the Circuit Rider Training Program; modification of existing policies related to small water and septic systems and agreements for water and wastewater services; investment in a National Wastewater Program; and development of waterborne illness procedures.
The FNWWAP was implemented as part of government commitments in the 2007 Speech from the Throne, Budget 2008, Budget 2010, and Budget 2012 to support First Nations’ access to safe drinking water. It supports the continued commitment to promote access to clean water in Aboriginal communities announced in the 2011 Speech from the Throne.
The FNWWAP supports AANDC's Strategic Outcome, The Land and Economy: Full participation of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals and communities in the economy. The FNWWAP also supports the HC strategic outcome of the department's First Nations and Inuit Health Programming and Services: Better health outcomes and reduction of health inequalities between First Nations and Inuit and other Canadians.
More information is available at these websites:
Shared outcome(s): The FNWWAP works toward the achievement of four outcomes:
Governance structure(s): The FNWWAP is a successor to the joint First Nations Water Management Strategy (2003-2008) and the AANDC Plan of Action for Drinking Water (2006-2008). A memorandum of understanding has been in place between AANDC and HC since 2005 regarding data sharing related to drinking water. AANDC shares information on the proposed water and wastewater infrastructure investments; the annual inspections of water and wastewater treatment plants; and action related to drinking water advisories. Conversely, HC shares information such as drinking water sample results that do not meet the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality and reasons for recommending drinking water advisories. At the working level, the Strategic Water Management on Reserve Committee, which includes representatives from HC, AANDC, Environment Canada and the Assembly of First Nations, provides a forum for discussion to share information and co-ordinate joint action, although this is not a formal decision making body. It also provides integrated and co-ordinated leadership to ensure safe drinking water for First Nation communities and to implement the FNWWAP.
Directors general and assistant deputy ministers from HC and AANDC meet when needed to exchange and coordinate action on all relevant issues related to the FNWWAP.
Since 2011-2012, AANDC has taken action to respond strategically to the findings of the National Assessment of Water and Wastewater in First Nation communities. The Government of Canada is reducing water and wastewater system risk through three pillars of action:
Enhanced capacity building and operation training:
Enforceable Water and Wastewater Standards:
Capital Investments in 2013-2014:
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Community Infrastructure Branch