Assessing the Qualitative and Quantitative Risks of Water Supply Services in Small, Remote Indigenous (SRI) Communities

Assessing the Qualitative and Quantitative Risks of WaterSupply Services in Small, Remote Indigenous (SRI) Communities


6TH ANNUAL WATER SYMPOSIUM & TRADE SHOW; February 7 - 9,2023; Calgary TELUS Convention Center; Calgary, AB


Lack of access to clean and safe drinking water has been a challenge in many Canadian small, remote Indigenous (SRI) communities for decades. The residents in those communi­ties have inadequate access to clean, safe, and affordable water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. It was reported that 73% of water systems in SRI communities were at medium to high levels of risk because the facilities could not meet the design protocols or supply water with substandard quality. Several internal and external factors, i.e., deterio­ration of source water quality, rapid climate change, aging water infrastructure, limited financial support, and lack of trained water operators, are rapidly impacting these water infrastructures’ performance and service delivery. Therefore, a comprehensive risk assessment framework for water infrastructure in SRI communities is essential. The developed framework will consider qualitative (e.g., stakeholders’ feedback) and quantita­tive(e.g., water quality) elements of risk to guide the decision-makers in identifying critical components or situations by holistically considering financial, technical, and social aspects. Furthermore, different types of risk, such as infrastructure management and public health risk can be aggregated into overall risk-based infrastructure performance.


Dr. Sana Saleem, UBC Okanagan