Nova Scotia - 2012 Policy Information  Nova Scotia Shield

While the population of Nova Scotia is declining in general, this does not mean a corresponding decline in the stress on water resources. Domestic, industrial, agricultural, and recreational uses for water are intensifying in parts of Nova Scotia. It is currently estimated that by 2026, the Halifax Regional Municipality and counties within a 90-minute commute of downtown Halifax will be home to almost 70 per cent of Nova Scotia’s population. Sixty per cent of Nova Scotians rely on a municipal water system for their drinking water, while the other 40 per cent get their water privately – from a drilled or dug well, or a surface water source. The Nova Scotia Department of Environment released a Provincial Water Strategy -Water for Life- in December 2010. Actions addressing the issues of water conservation and efficiency are identified in the strategy.

Use the links below to jump to a specific question:

Q1. Agencies Q9. Permitting Q17. Technical Assistance
Q2. Toilet Regulations   Q10. Drought Plans Q18. Volumetric Billing  
Q3. Showerhead Regulations Q11. Conservation Plans Q19. Metered Connections 
Q4. Urinal Regulations Q12. Authority to Approve Plans Q20. ET Microclimate Information  
Q5. Clothes Washer Regulations Q13. Plan Update Frequency Q21. Efficiency Strategy
Q6. PRSV Regulations Q14. Planning Framework Q22. Alternative Sources
Q7. Building or Plumbing Codes Q15. Implementation Requirements Additional Information
Q8. Water Loss Q16. Funding for Conservation

 

 

 

 

 



  1. What provincial ministry, department or agencies are in charge of drinking water conservation/efficiency?

    Nova Scotia Environment
     
  2. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for toilets that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    Neither the federal nor Nova Scotian governments have a regulation for toilets at the point of sale.

  3. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for showerheads that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    Neither the federal nor Nova Scotian governments have a regulation for showerheads at the point of sale.

    Although provincial building and plumbing codes can require water efficiency standards in new construction and renovations, there is to date no federal regulation for mandating the water consumption/efficiency of showerheads at the point of sale.
     
  4. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for urinals that is more stringent than the federal standard?

    Neither the federal nor Nova Scotian governments have a regulation for urinals at the point of sale.

    Although provincial building and plumbing codes can require water efficiency standards in new construction and renovations, there is to date no federal regulation for mandating the water consumption/efficiency of urinals at the point of sale.
      
  5. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for clothes washers that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    No.

    Minimum water efficiency standards for commercial and residential clothes washers are established through Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, limiting the Minimum Modified Energy Factor to greater than 35.68 L/kwh/cycle for capacity > 45 Land to greater than 18.4 L/kWh/cycle for capacities < 45 L.

  6. Does the province have a water consumption regulation for pre-rinse spray valves that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    No.

    Minimum water efficiency standards for pre-rinse spray valves are established through Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, limiting the flow rate to less than 6.1 litres per minute at 60 Psi water pressure as of January 1, 2012.

  7. Does the province have mandatory building or plumbing codes requiring water efficient products that exceed the federal standard? 

    No, however they are equivalent.

    As of June 1, 2011 the Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations amended the National Plumbing Code of Canada to include a water conservation objective and are now more stringent than the national requirement; a water efficiency section adopted in the code set the following limits for plumbing fixtures in new construction - maximum flow rates of 6 litres for toilets and 3.8 litres for urinals; 9.5 Lpm for showerheads; 8.35 Lpm for lavatory faucets; 8.35 Lpm for kitchen faucets. However replacements of existing toilets and urinals are not subject to these standards.

    The Nova Scotia Plumbing Code also adopts the specifications in the 2010 National Plumbing Code to allow non-potable sources to be used with dual plumbing within the home for fixtures other than sinks and faucets. Rainwater (referred to as storm sewage in the code) or greywater that is free of solids can be used for the flushing of toilets, urinals, or the priming of traps (section 7.1.5.3(2)). Greywater is not currently permitted for outdoor irrigation.

    All non-potable water systems to comply with CSA B128.1-06 Design and Installation of Non-Potable Water Systems and CSA B128.3-10 Performance of Non-potable Water Treatment Systems and be certified by a professional engineer.
      
     
  8. Does the province have any regulations or policies for water utilities regarding water loss in the utility distribution system?  

    No. 

  9. Does the province require conservation activities as part of its water permitting process or water right permit?

    No, but the Province has identified this as an action to be completed within the next 3 years in its’ Provincial Water Strategy (released December 2010).

    Nova Scotia’s Water For Life strategy suggests they will require water conservation plans for large water users, however this requirements has not yet been implemented. The water withdrawal approvals process also requires notation of “measures to protect the watercourse.”
     
     
  10. Does the province require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  

    No.

  11. Does the province have a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation/efficiency separate from drought emergency plans?   

    No.

    Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations signed Municipal Funding Agreements (MFA) with individual municipalities that define the terms and conditions under which the federal gas tax transfers funding flows to municipalities. As a requirement for funding, municipalities are expected to prepare and submit Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs) by 2010.

    An ICSP is a long-term strategic plan for municipalities.  Developed in consultation with members of the community, it identifies goals for sustainability and provides direction for communities as they move into the future. While it also does not have a water conservation requirement, municipalities are encouraged to consider water in its planning and Nova Scotia has published guidelines for developing plans.

  12. Does the province have the authority to approve or reject the conservation plans? 

    N/A because no plans are required.
     
  13. How often does the province require the water utilities to submit a potable water conservation plan (not part of a drought emergency plan)? 

    N/A because no plans are required.
  14. If the province has a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation separate from drought emergency plans, is there a framework or prescribed methodology?

    N/A because no plans are required.
     
     
  15. Does the province require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 

    N/A because no plans are required.

  16. Does the province offer financial assistance to utilities, cities, or counties for urban water conservation programs such as a revolving loan fund? Grants? Bonds? Appropriations?  Bonds?  Appropriations?

    Yes, directly to homeowners but not generally to municipalities.
     

    Canada does not have a revolving fund for infrastructure loans. Federally, the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) provides grants for up to 50% of project costs, or below-market, low interest loans of up to 80% of project costs. FCM is an advocacy organization; however the Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) with $550 million to establish the GMF program.

    The GMF funds municipal projects and studies, which have included feasibility studies of water conservation programs, water distribution system leak detection and control projects, plumbing retrofit programs, wastewater recycling, and sustainable community plans involving water conservation. In 2011, water conservation projects that reduce water use by more than 20% are a funding focus.

    The Building Canada plan is the primary mechanism in Canada for funding water and wastewater infrastructure, and encompasses a number of funds including provincial and municipal base funding, gas tax funds, and the Building Canada fund. Over half of the funding under the Building Canada plan is provided as base funding to municipalities, and the funds are generally administered by the provinces. The Building Canada fund promotes long-term funding of water infrastructure projects, including projects designed to improve conservation of water. Funding focuses on improved treatment standards that emphasize the protection of human health. The projects are required to be supported by measures that improve the management of sources of drinking water, reduce demands, and improve the management of drinking water infrastructure.

    All projects are cost shared, generally in equal thirds between federal/provincial/municipal governments. The Building Canada fund operates through two components: the Major Infrastructure Component (MIC) that targets large strategic projects of national and regional significance, and the Communities Component that focuses on projects in communities with populations of less than 100,000.

    To date, funded projects have focused on centralized infrastructure as opposed to conservation efforts, with the exception of metering. Capital cost funding projects must result in a tangible capital asset. Planning costs are also eligible, which could potentially support the development of water conservation plans.
     
  17. Does the province offer technical assistance for urban water conservation programs? 

    No.

    However, Nova Scotia has published rainwater harvesting guides for homeowners.

    Rainwater Cisterns Best Practice Guide offers technical guidance for minimum volumetric capacity, piping and treatment requirements, and provides costs estimates on a volumetric basis.

    Rain Barrel Best Practice Guide outlines the benefits of rain barrels for outdoor watering and includes design recommendations.
     
  18. Does the province require volumetric billing?

    No.
     
     
  19. What percentage or number of publicly supplied water connections (residential and nonresidential) are metered in your province?

    98.4% residential and 97.7% commercial

    Municipal Water Use 2009 Summary Tables 

  20. Does the province provide ET microclimate information for urban landscapes? 

    No. 

  21. Does the province have a water conservation and efficiency strategy?

    No, but water conservation objectives are included in Water for Life: Nova Scotia’s Water Resource Management Strategy.

  22. Does the province have standards for alternative water sources?

    Rainwater Cisterns Best Practice Guide

    Rain Barrel Best Practice Guide

    Additional Information:
     

    Nova Scotia (2008) Hot Water Answers

    Nova Scotia (2008) EnerGuide Energy Efficiency for Houses

    Nova Scotia (2007) Integrated Community Sustainable Plans

    Environment Canada (2011) 2009 Municipal Water Use Statistics

    Environment Canada (2011) Municipal Water Pricing Report

    Gibbon, W (2008) Who uses water-saving fixtures in the home - Canada