April 17, 2006

Alberta to pick up larger share of water, wastewater system capital costs

EDMONTON, ALTA-The Alberta government is encouraging the development of regional municipal water and wastewater systems by funding a larger share of their capital costs. Through the new $54-million Regional Water and Wastewater Partnership Initiative (RWWPI), the province will cover 90% of the capital costs of building regional municipal water and wastewater pipelines. Under previous arrangements, the government picked up 10 to 85% of these costs, depending on the size of the municipality. The new initiative also will also provide 100% funding for engineering feasibility studies for regional systems, plant expansions for "hub" suppliers required to serve new regional customers, and for expansions in pipeline capacity to serve future regional customers. The funding program will be part of the existing Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership, through which the government will provide $126 million in regular grants over the next three years. The RWWPI is also part of the provincial Water for Life Strategy, adopted in 2003. Existing regional water and wastewater systems currently serve 148 Alberta communities.

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