Potable Water

Objectives

  • Provide safe, clean drinking water for residents and businesses in the P4G Region
  • Coordinate the orderly development of potable water infrastructure to support regional and local land-use policies
  • Minimize potable water infrastructure costs through coordination between municipalities
  • Support water providers in securing emergency water supplies for the P4G Region
  • Promote the efficient use of potable water across the P4G Region

Context

 

A summary map for the regional potable water strategy is provided in Exhibit 1. Key elements of this map include the following:

  • Saskatoon Water Treatment Plant. The current City of Saskatoon Water Treatment Plant (WTP) provides water supplies across the P4G Region. The capacity of the WTP will increase from 258 million litres per day (ML/d) to 300 ML/d with shorter term facility expansion, with the potential to further expand capacity to 350 ML/d on the current site. There is also potential to build a second WTP nearby to increase treatment capacity.
  • SaskWater pipelines. SaskWater provides water services across the P4G Region, outside of the City of Saskatoon. To supply these communities, which currently include the other P4G members, SaskWater has eight major connections to the City network.
  • Conceptual Martensville-Saskatoon connection. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was developed in 2014 to negotiate an agreement for Saskatoon to provide water and wastewater services to Martensville. The alignment for this connection has not been determined, but water delivery services from Saskatoon would replace those currently provided by SaskWater.

 

Water Supply

At present, potable water for the P4G Region is supplied by the City of Saskatoon Water Treatment Plant (WTP). This facility draws water from the South Saskatchewan River in the south of Saskatoon, and currently has a supply capacity of 258 ML/d that is distributed to customers in the City by Saskatoon Water and in the rest of the P4G Region by SaskWater.

Information on planned expansion of water treatment facilities in Saskatoon indicates this will follow three general stages:

  • Further expansion of the existing WTP could accommodate a peak daily capacity increase of up to 450 ML/d.
  • Construction of a second WTP using current inlet structures and water licenses can accommodate a peak daily capacity of 540 ML/d.
  • Expanding water intakes will be required to accommodate a peak daily capacity beyond 540 ML/d.

 

Projections of expected regional water demands using available population projections (see Appendix A) are provided in Appendix B. This assessment considers potential high/low scenarios for water consumption over the next few decades to determine how current capacity will meet future demand. Several conclusions can be reached from this assessment, assuming the City of Saskatoon maintains its role providing potable water to the regional system:

  • Short-term facility expansion. Expected short-term WTP capacity expansions to 300 ML/d are expected to accommodate peak water demand until about 2021–2031, based on the scenarios assessed.
  • Long-term facility expansion. Additional capacity expansions to the current WTP would address peak demand until about 2036–2051. After this time frame, a new WTP would be necessary. This will occur near the end of a 20 to 25-year capital facilities planning cycle and should be the focus of long-term facilities planning.
  • Additional water treatment facility. A second WTP would boost regional water supplies to meet needs until 2043–2059, after which new water licenses would be needed from the province for additional withdrawals.
  • Coordination of regional funding for capital facilities. Levies, fees, and service charges should be coordinated on a regional basis to ensure capital facilities for water treatment can be funded.
  • Emergency raw water supplies. Long-term planning to provide safe and sufficient supplies of potable water should be a consideration of the Regional Plan. This would involve the provision for emergency supplies from other sources if the South Saskatchewan River is impacted.
  • Regional coordination and system efficiency. Regional coordination will be essential for effectively managing long-term water supplies and reducing per-capita demand through conservation. Measures should include more specific requirements for water allocation to communities, incentives for water conservation, and connection fees designed to support future upgrades to treatment capacity.

 

Water Delivery

In addition to providing an adequate supply of water, the physical delivery of water to the smaller urban municipalities and surrounding rural areas is also a significant regional issue. Water from the City of Saskatoon is supplied by SaskWater to the individual municipalities via the Saskatoon North Treated Supply Pipeline that links to the City system at the 71st Street and Wanuskewin Road booster station.

The Saskatoon North Treated Supply Pipeline has the following capacity characteristics:

  • The point of delivery to the pipeline has a maximum capacity of 27.0 ML/d. The average supply rate under the existing Master Supply Agreement is 8.3 ML/d and the maximum supply rate is 15.6 ML/d. Delivering water to the pipeline beyond the maximum supply rate, especially given reductions in capacity from new growth within the City, may require upgrades to the mains in this area.
  • The City of Martensville is supported by two pipelines with capacities of 6.3 ML/d (north) and 2.3 ML/d (south) at the points of delivery.
  • The City of Warman is supported by a section of the pipeline that can provide 15.7 ML/d at the point of delivery.
  • Delivery into the Town of Osler is supported by a SaskWater connection, and the municipal waterworks system is expected to support 2,200 residents.
  • Additional pipelines provide water delivery to municipalities outside the P4G Region, including Dalmeny, Hepburn, and Hague, as well as rural customers of Intervalley Water, Inc. and other commercial and industrial customers in the region.

 

The assessment of long-term regional water demands included in Appendix B raises concerns with the capacity of this pipeline:

  • Contracted delivery rates exceeded. Contracted water delivery from Saskatoon Water to SaskWater has been exceeded and future negotiations about additional delivery to the SaskWater system are unresolved.
  • Short-term capacity issues at point of delivery. Peak water demand will exceed the maximum supply rate of 15.6 ML/d at the point of delivery to the pipeline by 2019–2024. Water delivery exceeding 15.6 ML/day will likely require upgrades to support higher flow rates.
  • Mid-term pipeline capacity issues. The maximum pipeline capacity of 27.0 ML/d will be exceeded by the assessed customers by 2035–2044 under the presented scenarios.

 

Although negotiations between Saskatoon Water and SaskWater are ongoing, and may result in changes to regional water delivery, the proposed Martensville-Saskatoon water pipeline, noted above, would resolve certain capacity issues. This solution would need to consider certain issues:

  • Increased capacity for remaining customers on the pipeline. If demand from Martensville can be fulfilled through a separate pipeline (as suggested in the Saskatoon-Martensville MOU), the Saskatoon North Treated supply pipeline system will have the capacity to service the remaining customers using the SaskWater maximum supply rate until 2035–2043, and the maximum capacity of the pipeline until 2051 at the earliest.
  • Other P4G municipalities may not require new pipelines. This assessment indicates that providing a pipeline to Martensville would allow the capacity of the remaining system to continue to serve Warman and Osler over the next 30 years or more, as well as Dalmeny, Hague, Hepburn, and Intervalley Water. Building additional pipelines to service other P4G members would therefore result in unnecessary and redundant regional capacity. Improvements to the connection tie-ins to the north of the City system may still be necessary, however.
  • Statutory concerns about water delivery outside Saskatoon. As directed by the province, SaskWater exclusively manages water delivery outside the City of Saskatoon. As a result, Saskatoon Water is only allowed to provide water to customers in other P4G municipalities through SaskWater. This complicates efforts to develop regional connections for potable water, and would require provincial action to change.

 

Other relevant points to consider about regional water delivery include:

  • System redundancy and emergency supplies. The linear design of the pipelines in the regional system means there is a lack of redundancy in the case of pipeline breaks or other service interruptions. For the smaller urban municipalities in the system, the WSA recommends a minimum water storage capacity equal to two days of average demand, and at least this volume of storage should be maintained to provide an emergency supply. However, in the long term, the development of a regional system should work to provide additional lines for water supplies into these communities to provide redundancy.
  • Support for implementation of the Regional Plan and certainty of development. Regional water servicing can support the coordination and information exchange necessary to provide clear requirements for the provision of water supplies. This can reduce uncertainty about the availability of water servicing in the P4G Region, and support the development patterns identified in the Regional Plan.

Regional Actions

Considering the current regional context and projected needs for water, P4G should pursue the following actions:

  • Develop a Regional Potable Water Servicing Study and Plan. P4G should work to coordinate a Regional Potable Water Servicing Plan which can clearly define the expected long-term roles of regional stakeholders in water treatment and delivery. In partnership with regional providers, this document should define how extensions of water servicing and allocations of capacity are managed, and outline how providers must consider the Plan in decision making. This shall be supported by a regional study of key components of the water distribution system.
  • Improve regional water efficiency. Even with sufficient supplies in the short term, the need for new infrastructure investment can create challenges for growth in the P4G Region. As such, all municipalities should work to improve water efficiency and extend current capacity through conservation programs, technology pilots, and infrastructure upgrades.
  • Assist in the development of a second WTP as required. There is a long-term need for a second WTP to support the regional water system. P4G should work to assist P4G members to adjust servicing plans as necessary to account for changes in the system.
  • Support negotiations between P4G municipalities and SaskWater regarding long-term service provisions. SaskWater and P4G municipalities will need to negotiate the future management of the Saskatoon North Treated supply pipeline to determine a cost-effective solution for all parties. P4G should support these negotiations and encourage infrastructure planning to help coordinate growth planning under the Regional Plan.
  • Support the development of emergency water supplies. Considering the potential severity of the impacts of emergency situations on water supplies, the P4G Region should work to support the City of Saskatoon in securing options for emergency supplies in the case of contamination or service interruption.
  • Address requirements for large industrial customers. Potential industrial customers of the regional potable water system may require sufficient capacity in the system. This may include users such as food-related industrial operations and value-added agri-businesses. Planning as part of a regional system should work to coordinate these needs with long-term allocation of infrastructure.
  • Coordination with First Nations. P4G should work with Saskatoon Water, SaskWater, First Nations, and municipalities to identify needs for potable water servicing on First Nations lands, and determine potential options for planning and constructing joint infrastructure projects.