This audit found the Department of Conservation and Climate needs to do more to ensure the safety of drinking water in Manitoba.

This audit examined the adequacy of the Department of Conservation and Climate’s oversight of drinking water safety.

We found the Department’s processes for licensing and monitoring drinking water systems did not adequately minimize safety risks. We also found the Department had weak strategic planning and performance measurement processes for overseeing drinking water safety.

More specifically, 20% of known water systems in Manitoba did not have an operating licence. The majority of these were smaller water systems, but several provided water to schools. Further, an estimated half of known water systems in the province did not have a certified operator.

We also noted the number of licensed drinking water systems in Manitoba nearly doubled over five years, while the number of staff assigned to licensing and monitoring these systems decreased. As well, not enough had been done to bring non-compliant water systems into compliance with provincial regulations.

In addition, the Department did not have a clear, robust plan to address the many risks to drinking water safety.

The report includes 18 recommendations.

Published: September 2020

Sector: Environment/Energy, Government Operations

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