Related Question On Wastewater Treatment Plant

One issue I’m not clear on is the impact a P3 Wastewater Treatment Plant would have on an agreement that the city signed in November 2012 with Western Potash Corp to provide wastewater for the Milestone potash mine that is to be built 35 km south-east of Regina near Gray, SK. According to a Leader-Post report from May, once the mine is up and running it would utilize 60 per cent of the city’s treated wastewater (around 40,000 cubic metres per day) that would be delivered to the mine via pipeline. The article goes on to note that over the 45 year length of the agreement the city could receive $200 million from Western Potash.

What I’m not clear on is who would receive this revenue under a P3 arrangement. Would it still go to the city, or would it go to the private company? In either case it would be a handy source of revenue to help mitigate some of the cost of the construction and operation of the new wastewater treatment plant.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your inferior human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

13 thoughts on “Related Question On Wastewater Treatment Plant”

  1. City will probably cut a deal with Western Potash, after potash prices slide a little, and give to to them for pennies on the dollar what the original deal called for, all in an effort to “encourage and sustain” jobs and development. Money won’t materialize in that sum whatsoever.

  2. So, is someone actually going to put the question to someone at City Hall? Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. Totally unrelated. The treated wastewate will either go to the creek (city gets no money) or gets sold to potash co. (city gets some money).

  4. Smokey: The water that gets sold to the potash company gets used for some kind of injection mining process (I’m not clear on the details). Western says that it will not get back into the water system. That means the water is gone. And that’s bad for the water cycle because typically water doesn’t disappear, it gets recycled.

    I’ve spoken with experts on this stuff and apparently the amount of water that Western will be taking from the plant is not a huge amount (as these things go). And the creek actually has considerably more water in it than was historically true and that’s thanks to waste water being pumped into it from Regina and region.

    Regardless, our wastewater contributes to the water that’s used as drinking water by municipalities downstream from us. Plus, over time we’re going to find that the total amount of water in the water system of western Canada will find itself increasingly under stress due to climate change.

    My point being, whether to sell our wastewater and, if we do, how we should let it be used is a big, complicated issue and not served by a simplistic “we get some money vs we don’t get money” comparison.

  5. 1 – The mayor has claimed they will own the effluent. Then again the mayor has been brazenly lying through this whole circus, so who knows?

    2 – No matter who really owns it, when money is involved, the final decision will be a court battle or secret deal. The city will want it all and the private company running the plant will want it all. Except their lawyers are better so in the end it will be split, and whether by court or secret deal, both sides will claim they ‘won’.

    3 – Meanwhile in Saskatoon it’s clear as tap water: Citizens get the profits from nutrients taken from the OSTARA waste water process.

  6. We don’t have to wait for this to play out to guess, we just have to think back over the past few years.

    First Mayor Fiacco and council rammed through a controversial downtown plaza they said would cost $3-4 million and would be built during one summer. We now know that was total bull.

    Then they they bragged had locked up private investors to pay for a $500 million domed stadium in downtown Regina. Except that also turned out to be total bull.

    Then they said the pension plan problem would be solved by the end of 2011. You guessed it. Bull.

    Mayor Fougere and council bragged that the Western Potash deal was a $200 million jackpot that the city shrewdly negotiated, but we can see that turned out to be total bull.

    Now they are saying they have a sweet but secret private P3 water deal worth $224 million, but that the public can’t be trusted to see the numbers. What are the odds this is another bull story too?

  7. Fiacco raised our sewer and water rates almost 9 years ago. In each of those years we are paying 9%. That money was to pay for that future wastwater treatment plant, so where is all that money?

    That 9% will never go away … so you are and will continue to pay more. The 276.00 is just there to side track all.

    So John Hopkins of that union called the Regina Chamber of Commerce figures that a P3 is the best way to go … the fact is that a P3 project will ensure that Regina taxpayers hard earned dollar$ will leave the city for parts unknown for the next 30 years.

    How can this be a benefit to the Regina taxpayer and business? How much money will the foreign P3 company put back into Regina?

    Answer … none, why would they?

    Voting YES will keep that money in our community called Regina.

  8. West58 is correct.

    The Chamber of Commerce support is hard to understand. As businesses they should be screaming blue murder to Vote Yes as they will also have to pay the increased water bills and lose millions to an outside corporation. All I can figure is that it is their knee jerk reaction to blindly support whatever the council does.

  9. West58 – back in 2011, before city council was being given talking points by Deloitte and a US-based political spin corporation, the city was well on track to have about $250 million ready in time for the water treatment plant, which they estimate to cost $207 million.

    In an uncensored document they said “For 2012, the ratio indicates that revenues exceed expenditures and debt repayments by about 75%. By policy, the net revenue or surplus is used to fund transfers to the General Operating Fund, with the balance used to fund future Utility capital requirements.”

    The numbers show they were well on track to accumulating well over $250 million for the project.

    Further they said “Transfer to the General Utility Reserve” –The purpose of the reserve is to provide a source of financing for capital projects. The balance of the Utility’s surplus, after other transfers, is transferred to the General Utility Reserve. For 2012, the transfer is budgeted at $33.6 million.”

    Another unclassified budget document from 2012 says “Federal and provincial governments have tightened regulations surrounding wastewater treatment, requiring a $146 million investment in the Wastewater Treatment Plant by 2016.”

    It’s unclear why we would need private corporate financing, unless the money that’s been squirreled away is going to some other large construction project.

    It’s also highly suspicious that the unclassified 2012 budget document pegs the cost at $146 million, but the mayor is now telling us the cost is $225 million. That’s a huge increase as soon as Deloitte and private companies took over and the documents began getting censored.

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