Page 13: Guidance For Providing Safe Drinking Water in Areas of Federal Jurisdiction – Version 2

Appendix G: CNPHI – Drinking Water Advisories Module

Drinking Water Advisories Application

The Drinking Water Advisories Application is a secure, web-based, pan-Canadian application within the Canadian Network for Public Health Intelligence (CNPHI). The application is available for use by agencies across Canada at no cost.

Drinking water advisories – measures to protect human health

  • Boil water orders/advisories and drinking water avoidance orders/advisories are issued to protect the health of consumers when there is a potential or real situation in which the safety of drinking water may be compromised or threatened

Benefits of a nationally consistent real-time alert and response system

  • Once a drinking water advisory has been issued, communication is key to ensure appropriate action is taken quickly. The CNPHI Drinking Water Advisories application provides a means of real-time notification and information sharing to address communication gaps and enhance the coordination of response efforts
  • Regional health authorities and municipal, provincial, territorial or federal government departments can now be linked by a common information sharing platform
  • All partner agencies can be immediately notified when advisories are issued, updated or rescinded, and kept informed on the status of all advisories

Analysis and reporting on a local, regional or national scale

  • Users can employ custom query tools as needed for analysis and reporting on a local, regional, provincial/territorial or national basis on the causes of advisories and trends that can help define priority needs.
  • National analysis of advisories can help all jurisdictions work together to identify common root causes and promote actions that can help reduce the need for advisories, such as; infrastructure renewal, support for small community systems, and enhanced preparedness for events that challenge drinking water systems.

Added to the CNPHI platform as a live application in 2008

  • CNPHI is a suite of secure, web-based applications and resources designed to fill critical gaps in Canada's national public health infostructure. CNPHI Public Health Alert systems are organized into five areas: Respiratory, Enteric, Zoonotic, General and Adverse Events Following Immunizations alert systems.
  • There are currently over 5000 CNPHI users in health protection agencies across Canada; existing Public Health Alerts users can register to the Drinking Water Advisories application with no change to their existing username or password.
  • Registration of new users to the Drinking Water Advisories application is also quick and easy. Training and orientation materials are available within the application, and training web-casts are available from the CNPHI team upon request at any time.
  • Various information links and publications are accessible to users as an added value.
  • The Drinking Water Advisories application continues to evolve to meet the needs of a growing number of agencies in various jurisdictions, with the goal of achieving national coverage.

Adaptable and evergreen

  • Jurisdictions remain in control of how to best use the platform according to their needs, registering readers and writers according to roles and desired inter-agency communication linkages.
  • The application is an evergreen platform intended to improve and adapt over time in order to meet the needs of users working to protect the safety of drinking water and the health of consumers.
  • The CNPHI Drinking Water Advisories application is not intended to duplicate work or replace existing tools, and can be linked electronically with complementary systems already in place.

Collaborating Centres

  • Users of the CNPHI Drinking Water Advisories application can join or create collaborating centres and work towards solutions with partners coast to coast who are facing similar issues or challenges in their daily work.

For more information please contact:
Tim Beattie, Health Canada; Phone: (613) 954-2461 Email:

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