Water Distribution Project Update
In 2016, the Small Community Funds (SCF) approved $3.6M for a water treatment plant, based on Hiawatha’s ability to provide their share of $1.8M for a total of $5.4M.
Council met with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) on an alternative solution for providing safe drinking water to our Community, as Hiawatha does not meet Canada’s criteria under their commitment to end boil water advisories for First Nations, nor are we on their priority list for a full water treatment plant – they would not have approved the $1.8M towards a water treatment plant.
We also met with the SCF, our former MP and MPP to support our alternative solution to providing safe drinking water to the Community. We let them know that a completed water treatment plant would cost approximately $20M and with the $5.4 Hiawatha would only be able to build the plant with 3kms of main – this does not address our immediate needs for safe drinking water and could be another 10 years or more before we could complete this treatment plant, based on ISC criteria and wait lists.
ISC approved the $1.8M based on the alternate solution brought forward, and SCF approved the proposed project changes. The project scope has been modified to upgrade and improved the existing systems to meet current regulatory standards; address the water quality and quantity issues to ensure the quantity and quality of our drinking water in Hiawatha meets the current applicable standards and guidelines as soon as possible.
We have just retained the services of Colliers Project Leaders to provide project management services for the planning, design and construction of decentralized water supply with a centralized management system. Consultation with the Community will begin in the new year. The construction is anticipated to take approximately two years from project initiation, with anticipated construction completed in Spring of 2021.