Exploratory Assessment of Drinking Water Management in the Southern Interior of British Columbia:
A First Nation Story
Destiny Allen-Green, MLWS 2018
By way of a reconnaissance, this report presents an evaluation of some of the challenges pertaining to drinking water access and availability in the Lytton First Nation and Esh kn-am.
The Lytton First Nation had recently installed a new water treatment system. The communities represented by Esh-kn-am had challenges with water shortages and some sporadic Boil Water Advisories (BWAs). The current water management does not provide long-term solutions, and as such, potable water will always need to be treated if further actions are not taken.
As a result, a holistic approach to drinking water management has been recommended for both community groups. The use of watershed-level management by way of the multi-barrier approach and/or integrated watershed management more effectively protects water at its source and better ensures the quality of the water at the tap. Additionally, these holistic methods generate more collaboration and require that adequate data be gathered, both of which are needed in addressing drinking water concerns. Despite watershed level management of drinking water sources being a viable solution, the communities have little control over local governance, especially within their traditional territory, which hinders the more holistic approaches.