2011 Municipal Water Use Report – Municipal Water Use 2009 Statistics

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The 2009 MWWS collected data on municipal water use and pricing for the 2009 calendar year.

Survey sample

The survey was sent out to all municipalities with a population greater than 1000 and to a sample of those under 1000, except municipalities on Federal Lands and First Nations.

The sample of municipalities with less than 1000 residents increased to 1000 municipalities in the 2009 survey, representing 43% of the total Canadian population living in municipalities below 1000 population. The 2006 MWWS sample included only 630 municipalities with less than 1000 residents, while the 2004 MWWS sample included 616 such municipalities (no municipalities below 1000 population were included in the 2001 or previous samples). In spite of this change, the data is still comparable to previous survey cycles, as any effect on the aggregate statistics is negligible due to the very small overall population of responding municipalities in this size group.

The 2009 survey sample contained a total of 2779 municipalities, compared to the 2006 sample of 2409 municipalities. Forty municipalities that were included in the 2006 sample were merged into existing or new municipalities or districts in the 2009 sample. An additional 410 municipalities were added to the 2009 sample, including 400 additional municipalities with population below 1000 (as mentioned above), and another 10 municipalities that crossed the 1000 population threshold and were therefore automatically included in the survey sample.

The population estimates used for each municipality are based on Statistics Canada’s population estimates for census subdivisions on July 1, 2009.

Response rate and representativeness

The response rate to the survey varies by question; please refer to the “Responding Population” column in each table to find the exact responding population for each statistic.

Initial survey responses were supplemented with call-backs to large municipalities and Internet searches for readily available information. Some missing records were imputed from data collected in 2006, after adjusting for changes in the population in the intervening years. In the 2009 Municipal Water and Wastewater summary database, the source of each record (2009 survey or imputed from 2006) is indicated; therefore the non-imputed totals or averages can be obtained, if desired.

In 2009 the survey collected information on one or more key statistics from 1488 municipalities (with a population of 27.0 million). Imputing from 2006 for non-response where possible brought these values up to 1688 municipalities, representing 30.0 million Canadians.

The data reported here has been compiled directly from values collected through the 2009 MWWS. No statistical techniques or extrapolation has been used to render the information representative of the entire Canadian population. When interpreting the survey results, the reader should always refer to the responding population, which is indicated for each statistic presented in this report.

Changes since 2006

The MWWS underwent revisions and modifications since the 2006 survey cycle. Changes made to the survey questionnaire and to the method of data analysis have allowed greater clarity and precision in survey results. However, in some cases these changes have affected the comparability of the 2009 results with previous cycles’ data. Throughout this report, we have mentioned the 2006 results for comparison but have also indicated wherever the results are not directly comparable due to methodology changes.

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