WHEREAS provincial or federal taxes fund the grant system supporting the development of water and wastewater systems in Alberta, all water and wastewater systems should be accessible to all municipalities on behalf of their residents provided that an equitable share of the capital and operating costs not covered by provincial or federal grants are paid; and WHEREAS the current system is causing the duplication of water and wastewater systems within regions, both environmentally and economically inefficient; and WHEREAS current inter-basin transfer questions are not rooted in the lack of access to raw water sources, but on the refusal of other municipalities to share water treatment facilities;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that the Government of Alberta change the procedure on access to potable water and wastewater treatment systems so that all municipalities have equal access to this provincial resource through their closest treatment facility within the same sub-basin.
The Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership provides cost-shared funding to eligible municipalities – The program ensures that Albertans have access to safe water supplies and adequate wastewater treatment. All municipalities receiving assistance are encouraged to support Alberta companies and are required to use the private sector for all work undertaken. This program enhances life in smaller urban centers and allows municipalities to attract development to their communities – Municipalities apply for funding on a project-by-project basis. In some cases, funding can be provided for regional facilities (serving more than one municipality) where a regional concept is more cost-effective and environmentally sound than a stand-alone system. Regional Water Systems receive 10 percent additional funding.The Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership – Regional Systems Initiative and Water Strategy Initiative – The water strategy initiative is only available for NEW regional water or wastewater systems or NEW EXTENSIONS to existing regional water or wastewater systems. Funding under these initiatives is available to all regional commissions or groups of two or more municipalities (or eligible hamlets) that are eligible for funding under the AMWWP. Eligible municipalities include groups of Cities, Towns, Villages, Summer Villages, Rural Municipalities, or Metis Settlements. Regional Service Commissions, municipal partnerships, public- private ventures, municipalities with contracted services to privately owned utilities are all eligible to receive grant funding assistance. Municipalities may utilize any arrangement for project implementation that is desired.
Resolution 17-05F – Water/Wastewater Projects Grant Funding Review (STATUS: ACTIVE) urges the Government of Alberta to review the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) eligibility criteria to include business/industrial parks and country residential developments. In budget 2006 there was an increase in funding for water and wastewater services through the AMIP program. There is also a one time capital funding grant of $5 million for water and wastewater projects aligned with the Water for Life Strategy. There are no plans to review the eligibility criteria at this time.Resolution ER2-06S – Groundwater Resources Mapping (STATUS: ACTIVE) requests that Alberta Environment undertake groundwater resource mapping for all of Alberta, and not only concentrate on central Alberta. Alberta Environment is investing in improved groundwater mapping, starting in the Ardley coal zone area, including the overlying Paskapoo Formation. This region was selected as a starting point based on planned future coalbed methane development and the increasing residential population in the area. This mapping project, however, is part of a larger groundwater mapping program for the entire province. Alberta Environment will continue to work to improve groundwater inventory for the province.
The AAMDC acknowledges that the Government of Alberta has implemented programs and policies to encourage cooperation and support access to regional systems. However, encouragement and financial incentives have not been adequate to ensure access and maximize facility efficiency. The AAMDC will continue to advocate for practical, structured cooperation mechanisms as well as timely and decisive funding decisions that provide adequate financial support.Resolutions 2-07F, 8-07F and ER1-07F also deal with funding for water/wastewater projects.