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Small Communities Get Help with Water Costs

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Small Communities Get Help with Water Costs

McGuinty Government Opens Second Phase Of Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program To Help Keep Drinking Water Safe and Affordable

Ministry of Infrastructure

Small, northern and rural municipalities, as well as local services boards, can now apply for assistance to help offset the costs of operating public drinking water systems.

The second phase of the Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program is now accepting applications. This funding program is part of the government's plan to keep Ontario's water and wastewater infrastructure in good repair to ensure safe, clean and affordable water services for Ontario families.

The program helps small communities - which face unique challenges in keeping water rates affordable and managing increasing operating costs and capital investment needs - maintain their systems and deliver safe clean water to their residents.

This second phase makes funding of $12 million available to municipalities and local services boards with public drinking water systems serving 1,001 to 5,000 residents.

Quick Facts

  • The first phase of the $40 million funding program for small water systems provides $8 million over five years to municipalities and LSBs serving fewer than 1,000 residents
  • OSWAP-2 builds on other programs designed to help communities protect local infrastructure:
    • $450 million under the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative in 2007-08 to support municipal infrastructure priorities, including water systems
    • joint investments of almost $380 million with the federal government through the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund to help 60 rural municipalities with water and wastewater projects
    • $56 million to 53 municipalities through the Rural Infrastructure Investment Initiative in response to water and wastewater project applications
    • a commitment to provide up to $1.1 billion in affordable, longer-term financing for water and wastewater projects through Infrastructure Ontario’s OSIFA loan program.

Additional Resources


“Our government has made safe, clean and affordable drinking water for all Ontarians a priority. This funding supports strong public infrastructure, which is critical to the province’s economic competitiveness, our health, and the environment – not only for this generation, but for generations to come.”

George Smitherman

Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure

“Having access to clean, safe drinking water is just as important in smaller communities as it is in urban centres. This program shows, once again, our commitment to rural Ontario.”

Leona Dombrowsky

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“Here in Ontario, we have created an effective safety net for our drinking water systems, making our tap water among the best protected in the world. Helping small communities upgrade their water systems is another example of that safety net in action.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment



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