Ahousaht crisis highlights need for clean water on reserves, chief says

As his community deals with a state of emergency due to its dwindling water supply, the chief of the Ahousaht First Nation says long-standing issues with water on Canadian reserve land is a black mark on the nation.
Ahousaht, a small island community of 1,000 people near Tofino, saw its reservoir levels drop to dangerously low levels over the weekend.
Water is so scarce that the community doesn’t have enough to fight fires if one were to break out, leaders say.
Not only that, but the water supply that is coming in has been contaminated by mud and other debris from a weekend storm, with turbidity levels off the charts.
"There was such a severe, heavy rain and wind through the weekend that it was very clear there was a section of the dam where the water was just brown," said Ahousaht administration manager Anne Atleo.
The community has been receiving shipments of bottled water, which are being delivered door to door.
According to the First Nation Health Authority, 13 B.C.
reserves faced some type of serious water issue as of Oct. 31.
Nationally, 67 long-term boil water advisories are in place on First Nation reserves, according to Indigenous Services Canada.
The federal government has pledged to resolve all long-term drinking water issues on reserves by the year 2021.

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