The new Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program (OSWAP) accepted expressions of interest from small water systems in need of operating and capital assistance.

On August 16, 2007, the government announced $40 million over five years to provide capital and operating assistance to municipalities and Local Services Boards (LSBs) with public drinking water systems serving small populations in recognition of the challenges many smaller communities face in providing affordable, safe and clean drinking water. Access to the first portion of this funding is now available.

The government has set aside funding for two separate purposes:

  • The $8 million OSWAP funding is available in operating grants to municipalities and LSBs with public drinking water systems serving 1,000 or fewer residents. Support is on an entitlement basis and will provide predictable funding for five years. Communities that are eligible for funding will be informed in autumn 2007 of their entitlement.
  • The remaining $32 million in further funding is available to support capital and operating needs of small water systems. This funding will be merit based and will start in the 2009 municipal fiscal year. The program will be developed through consultation with the municipal sector before it is launched.
The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest for the $8 million in OSWAP funding is 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time on October 31, 2007. As funding will be available over five years, communities are encouraged to consider their multi-year needs when preparing their Expressions of Interest.

Action: Municipalities interested in submitting an Expression of Interest to access OSWAP funds are urged to consult www.ontario.ca/OSWAP for further information and guidelines for submission or contact the Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal at 1-888-588-4111 or oswap@ontario.ca.