Solutions – Access to Clean Water is a Human Right

Access to drinking water is a human right. The past 6 weeks of a Boil Water Notice for the 12,000 residents of Prince Rupert (which was downgraded to a Water Quality Advisory on January 25, 2019) is a good reminder that we can’t take this human right for granted.

It’s not enough for those with money to buy water, cars to drive to the store, dishwashers to clean and sanitize dishes, or the means to boil water to have access to the clean water that everyone needs. When the water system breaks down, we should be ready to provide access on an emergency basis to those who need drinking water but don’t have the means to access it.

Let’s work together to ensure that everyone – and that means people everywhere – have the human right to accessible drinking water. Prince Rupert still needs to be better prepared, especially with the water system rebuilds taking years to complete. But we can’t stop with our own city. We must work together until every community in Canada has access to drinking water. And we must also work together until every community in the world has still same right recognized and realized.

Release – Community for Clean Water to Present to City Council on Day 46 of Restricted Access to Drinking Water for Most Vulnerable

January 28, 2019 marks the 46th day that Elders, young children, and residents with a compromised immune system, or another related medical condition, must either buy drinking water or boil water from Prince Rupert’s municipal water system before consuming it. For the most vulnerable, access to drinking water remains restricted if they cannot afford to buy their water and do not have the means to boil it.

On December 14, 2018 the city announced that a Boil Water Notice was effect. While the notice was downgraded to a Water Quality Advisory on January 25, 2019, the city’s most vulnerable residents continue facing restricted access to clean water. Provisions for these residents are just as important now, as they were during the Boil Water Notice.

Tom Kertes, volunteer organizer of Community for Clean Water, will present to Mayor and Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting scheduled for January 28, 2019 at 7:00 PM at Prince Rupert City Hall. Community for Clean Water is calling on the city to:

  1. Recognize access to drinking water as a human right which must be fulfilled by the municipal government, especially for the city’s most vulnerable residents and even during a Boil Water Notice or Water Quality Advisory.
  2. Launch a broad, extensive, independent, and transparent investigation into the city’s preparations for, and responses to, a 46 plus day Boil Water Notice and Water Quality Advisory that includes looking into measures provided for vulnerable residents, the health and safety affects of the situation, and any economic impacts.
  3. Ensure that the investigation is conducted by an independent expert on water quality and public water infrastructure who gathers feedback directly from those most vulnerable to restricted access to drinking water during an extended breakdown of the public water system. The full results of the investigation should be made public.

Download PDF of today’s media release here (or click image below).

Updated: January 26, 2019 to fix a typo and clarify that only certain residents must boil water during the Water Quality Advisory. The release PDF was corrected as well.

Water Update – Water Quality Advisory in Place

The City of Prince Rupert announced today that the Boil Water Notice is no longer in effect for the city’s water system. A Water Quality Advisory is now in effect. To learn more about what the downgrading of the 6-week Boil Water Notice to a Water Quality Advisory means for city residents, visit the City of Prince Rupert website. Continue to follow water quality recommendations provided by Northern Health and other public health agencies.