Canada’s water infrastructure has been a growth industry this year, and may provide opportunities for companies with products and/or services for this sector.
According to the 2019 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, approximately 40-60% of Canada’s stormwater infrastructure is in good or very good condition. Stormwater infrastructure includes linear collection systems such as collection pipes, ditches, and culverts as well as non-linear assets such as drainage pump stations, management facilities, including ponds, wetlands, and other end-of-pipe-facilities.
Stormwater management assets were mostly built in the last 20 years, and focus is now on capacity issues that require rehabilitation or replacement work due to the impact of climate change. Jurisdictions across Canada are experiencing more intense precipitation events, and the Insurance Board of Canada (IBC) says flooding now costs more than any other climate issue. IBC’s 2019 report said that an average $5.3 billion annual investment is needed for municipal infrastructure and adaptation, and added that “flood, erosion, and permafrost melt require the greatest investment.”
During the pandemic, several government agencies expanded financing to accommodate additional water infrastructure projects, as well as projects pertaining to public transit, green infrastructure, broadband, and rural communities. In fact, through the Investing in Canada Plan, more than CAD $180 billion in funding will be delivered over 12 years with project costs shared by federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal governments.
Examples of current and proposed initiatives include:
- The City of Toronto’s CAD $3 billion project to improve water quality in Lake Ontario and the city’s waterways,
- The Government of Canada and Québec’s provincial government are jointly investing CAD $637.8 million in green infrastructure projects to improve drinking water services, storm water management, and wastewater collection services in that province, and
- The Government of Canada and Alberta’s provincial government are jointly investing over CAD $150 million in Northern Alberta projects that include stormwater infrastructure upgrades.