March 1, 2004

Alberta completes first stage of drinking water facilities review

The Alberta government has completed an inventory of the source quality, quantity and protection available for more than 530 drinking water facilities in the province. The inventory, which marks first phase of a comprehensive review of the facilities, gathered information on the state of source water, treatment facilities and facility operations. It will provide the basis for a long-term plan to keep these operations sustainable at a high level for the present and into the future.

The second phase, set to begin this month, involves analyzing the data to develop potential long-term strategies and recommendations for provincial drinking water treatment facilities so that they can continue to meet or surpass Alberta's current and future drinking water standards. The second-phase assessment will also help the province make decisions related to infrastructure investments in these facilities.

"Good quality drinking water is something we can never take for granted," said Alberta Environment Minister Lorne Taylor. "This review is about finding innovative and sustainable solutions for water treatment facilities of all sizes across the province to help make a good system even better."

The comprehensive drinking water facility assessment is a key action under Alberta's Water for Life strategy; it is expected to be complete by fall 2004. Taylor noted that no other Canadian jurisdiction has conducted a drinking water facility review as comprehensive as the one underway in Alberta.

Water for Life: Alberta's Strategy for Sustainability may be viewed on-line at www.waterforlife.gov.ab.ca.

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