2011 Municipal Water Use Report – Municipal Water Use 2009 Statistics

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Municipal water supply provides water to the homes and business places of a majority of Canadians, as well as those industrial and agricultural operations that are connected to a municipal water distribution system.

Access to sufficient quantities of clean drinking water and sanitary sewage collection is essential to the health and economic vitality of our communities. Every year, substantial investments are required to maintain and expand our water and sewer systems and treatment plants. Meanwhile, policies and programs must continue to be developed and revised to ensure adequate protection of our water resources from overexploitation and pollution. To safeguard the resource and maintain the high standard of service our communities require, policy makers and resource managers must make well-informed decisions based on a thorough understanding of the environmental, social and economic systems that shape how communities use water.

Environment Canada’s Municipal Water and Wastewater Survey (MWWS) contributes to Canada’s goal of promoting the wise and efficient management and use of water by providing a principal source of information on municipal water use and pricing in Canada. This survey--along with its predecessor, the Municipal Water Use and Pricing Survey (MUD/MUP)--has been conducted every two or three years by Environment Canada since 1983. The resulting data is geocoded and can be analyzed in several ways, such as by survey year, province/territory and size of municipal population.

This municipal water use report includes updates (2009 data) of statistics that were published in similar reports for 2006 and 2004 data. This report summarizes some of the most important findings concerning water use, metering, population served by water and wastewater services, water sources, and wastewater treatment categories. Some comparison to past values is also included. A companion report will focus on the pricing of municipal water and wastewater services, as well as water conservation measures.

For the complete set of statistics produced from the 2009 cycle of the MWWS, please refer to the MWWS Summary Tables (2009 Statistics) that are available online.1

An explanation of the terminology used in this report can be found in the glossary found at the end of the document.

1. The water use reports, pricing reports, survey questionnaire, municipality-level water use and pricing databases, and variable description documents are available from the Water section of Environment Canada’s website. To find the MWWS survey page, click on “Water Research” in the left-hand column.

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