Akwesasne Water Law
The subject of developing an Akwesasne Water Law was identified as a need responding to the enactment of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, S.C. 2003, c. 21. This act came into force in 2013 and delegates regulation of water systems to provincial agencies. Akwesasne was able to obtain an exemption from this legislation, which expired in November 2018. During this time work was done on developing an Akwesasne Water Law, which would cover source water, drinking water, and waste water regulation and protection.
Developing an Akwesasne Water Law is taking into consideration the existence of By-Law #5 Waterworks System, which was enacted in 1964 and requires updating. There is also a By-Law Defining the St. Regis Sanitation Incentive Program governing the development of private water systems, which was enacted in 1973 and also requires updating. Both of these laws will need to be updated as part of developing an Akwesasne Water Law.
The Akwesasne Legislative Commission did select the development of an Akwesasne Water Law as a priority for 2019. This law is currently in Phase I
Law Development of the Akwesasne Legislative Enactment Regulation. Once a draft law has been developed, the document will be brought to the community for consultation to request feedback on the contents of the law.