City of Brandon Water and Wastewater Utility Financial Situation

October 24, 2023

BRANDON, MB — On Oct. 23, 2023, the City of Brandon released information on the province’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) approval of the revised water and wastewater rates for the City of Brandon Water and Wastewater Utility.  

Providing safe, clean water is a top priority for the City of Brandon. Brandon families deserve to feel confident that the water that comes from their tap at home is healthy and will be for years to come. The City also believes residents deserve predictability in water rates, so families can plan accordingly. 

This public service announcement provides an overview of the PUB approval, the City of Brandon’s response, and upcoming plans. 



The City of Brandon accepts and agrees with the financial findings highlighted by the PUB, which concludes that the current City management and finance teams are effectively managing a seven-year-old problem. The report highlights the billing side of the fiscal equation and where the City has been slow in raising rates. 

The issues highlighted were the outcome of a traditional approach to keeping rates low and were also discussed by City administration at the PUB public hearing on Sept. 13, 2023. To mitigate these issues, the City has implemented new, robust and accountable fiscal systems. Going forward, the city will increase rates in a timely manner, giving families more time to adjust. 

In 2016, PUB mandated an adequacy review of rates by June 2018. The City started the review in September 2019, and it wasn’t completed until July 2022 when the bylaw received a first reading. In contrast, the City has already begun planning for the next rate study to start in 2025, and it’s been added into a budget plan for 2024. 


Positive news 

Brandon can be confident that its water and sewer systems are clean and environmentally friendly. 

  • Brandon’s systems are well-run and produce quality products. The City’s water and wastewater systems are highly regarded by other Canadian municipalities.  

  • The City’s Water Reclamation Facility was recently showcased by the Water and Wastewater Association for its advanced technology and impact of a unique operation and maintenance regime. 


The approved rates effective Oct. 1, 2023 include the costs required from water rates for the Southwest Brandon Wastewater Servicing project, which will enable Brandon to keep growing.  

  • In Brandon, growth pays for growth. Earlier this year, the City held a “Paying For Growth” session, which highlighted that new costs equate to $0.22/cm in the rate study. 

  • The total cost for the 2026 rates will be $6.12/cm, which means that these project costs account for about 3.6 per cent of the total rate.  

  • The City of Brandon has been working with other levels of government to earn investments in the future of Brandon’s water treatment plant.  

  • Current investments from other levels of government include a total of $99 million, which includes $46 million from the federal government and $53 million from the province. The total project cost is $155 million.


Next steps 

The City of Brandon is working on implementing the new rates for the next billing cycle.  Residents can expect to see the new rates reflected on their next utility invoice in November.  

Updates on the billing information will be communicated to clients via the City’s website, the City’s social media accounts, an ad in the Brandon Sun, as well as inserts included in invoices sent directly to households. All billings were up to the end of September, so the City will not need to retroactively bill anyone. 



Mayor Jeff Fawcett 

“We thank the PUB for their report and their expertise, which has enabled the City of Brandon to move forward in a way that’s not only fiscally responsible; but that also gives us all the comfort of knowing the water that comes from each tap is safe and healthy. I also want to thank the provincial and federal governments, who agreed to provide partner funding — helping us guarantee Brandon will have safe, clean water for years to come.”   

General Manager of Corporate Services Cory Schermann  
“The City of Brandon has worked hard to lighten the financial load on residents. Now, with a go-forward plan that also incorporates more notice for families to budget appropriately, we’re confident we’re building up Brandon in a way that’s fiscally responsible and responsive to residents while still putting clean, healthy and safe water, first.”