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2005 September Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

September 2005 Report—Chapter 4

Appendix A—Progress in meeting sustainable development strategy commitments on drinking water

We assessed the progress made by selected federal government departments in meeting their sustainable development strategy (SDS) commitments on water management and protection of drinking water. The numbers in parentheses, under Observations, indicate the paragraphs where the topic is discussed.

Commitment

Progress

Observations

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Lead the collection of policy and program information related to water from all involved federal departments.

(2004 strategy)

Water is an issue that involves at least 19 federal departments. The Treasury Board Secretariat was not able to meet its targeted completion date of February 2004. Nevertheless, the Secretariat collected information from all departments and agencies involved, except for one department. (4.59)

Health Canada

Continue to develop the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. (2004 strategy)

Health Canada, as the technical secretariat of the FPT Committee on Drinking Water, continues developing science-based guidelines for drinking water quality. (4.16)

Develop an integrated, source-to-tap approach to drinking water quality in Canada.

(2004 strategy)

Health Canada, in collaboration with Environment Canada and the provinces and territories, produced two documents: The multi-barrier approach to safe drinking water (2002) and From source to tap: Guidance on the multi-barrier approach to safe drinking water (2004). (4.32)

Work with other federal departments to develop a compliance framework for drinking water quality in areas of federal jurisdiction.

(2004 strategy)

Health Canada, in fulfilling its commitment, has established an interdepartmental working group comprising 11 other departments and agencies. It has also produced a draft guidance document that is comprehensive and risk-based but is still at the draft stage. (4.44-4.45)

Develop or update at least six drinking and recreational water quality guidelines, in collaboration with the provinces and territories.

(2000 strategy)

Health Canada developed the following six drinking water quality guidelines: bacteriological quality, boil-water advisory, cyanobacterial (microcystin lr), turbidity, virus, and trichloroethylene (TCE). (4.20)

Commitment met

Some progress

Limited or no progress