OSWAP-3 is the third phase of the Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program, first announced in August 2007.
OSWAP-3 will provide up to $50 million in capital funding over the next four years to help small communities.
Through the first intake of OSWAP-3 Ontario is providing over $40 million to 85 communities.
Funding provided through OSWAP-3 will help families in small rural and Northern communities receive clean, safe and affordable water and wastewater services.
Municipalities and Local Services Boards that own residential drinking water or wastewater systems that provide services to 5,000 and fewer residents will be eligible to apply for funding. In municipalities where both services are provided, average population served is used to determine eligibility.
The program will result in a total investment of up to $75 million, based on a cost-sharing formula of two-thirds provincial funding and one-third municipal funding.
Communities can apply to a second intake for OSWAP-3. The deadline for making an application under this second intake is February 15, 2012.
OSWAP-3 provides funding for capital projects that improve the conservation and efficiency of water and/or wastewater services, such as:
These kinds of capital projects can help small municipalities avoid the need for costly infrastructure expansions and may also reduce operating costs.
OSWAP-3 is a competitive capital program. A range of factors including conservation and efficiency benefits were used to assess applications.
On August 16, 2007, the government announced the creation of the Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program – a $40-million funding program to provide capital and operating assistance to municipalities and Local Services Boards with public drinking water systems serving small populations.
The first two phases of the program are providing $20 million in operating grants to municipalities and Local Services Boards with public drinking water systems serving 5,000 and fewer residents.
Small communities face greater challenges in meeting their water and wastewater infrastructure investment needs. In particular, between 2001 and 2008 those communities serving 5,000 and fewer people have faced the most significant increases in operating costs, water rates and capital investments.
First, OSWAP-3 is a merit-based capital program. OSWAP 1 & 2 are both operating programs where funding is provided to all eligible applicants.
Second, it provides funding for both water and wastewater projects.
Third, it focuses on projects that improve water conservation and efficiency in existing water and wastewater systems.
Since 2003, the province has committed approximately $1.8 billion in funding for municipal water and wastewater infrastructure through grant programs. This includes over $400 million committed to water and wastewater projects in small communities.
In addition, since 2003, Infrastructure Ontario has approved agreements for approximately $1.7 billion in long-term financing for municipal water and wastewater projects.