Given that water and wastewater systems are an absolutely vital service to ensuring the wellbeing of our health, economy, and environment, a number of grants and transfers from the provincial and federal governments have been made available to assist in their funding.
Alberta Ecotrust – Alberta Ecotrust Grant
Alberta Ecotrust is a partnership between the corporate sector and the environmental community that invests in people and projects that protect the natural systems Albertans rely on for life and prosperity. Alberta Ecotrust provides various grant funding programs on topics such as watershed education, aquifer projects, and watershed health. Eligibility changes dependent on the program.
Alberta Municipal Affairs – Alberta Community Partnership
The Alberta Community Partnership provides funding to improve the viability and long-term sustainability of municipalities by providing support for regional collaboration and capacity building activities. Funding is available for projects that utilize intermunicipal collaboration, such as regional water systems.
Alberta Transportation – Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP)
Funding is provided to cities (under 45,000 population), towns, villages, summer villages, regional commissions and eligible hamlets within rural municipalities for the construction of high-priority water supply and treatment and wastewater treatment and disposal facilities. Water distribution and/or sewage collection systems are not eligible for assistance. For municipalities under 1,000 population, projects are cost-shared on a 75 per cent government/25 per cent municipality basis. For communities over 1,000 population (to a maximum 45,000 population), grant percentage ratios are calculated by a formula. The percentage ratio declines as the population increases.
Alberta Transportation – Water for Life Funding
Funding under Water for Life is available for new regional water or wastewater systems or new regional commissions to regional commissions or groups of two or more municipalities that are eligible for funding under the AMWWP.
Alberta Water and Wastewater Operators Association (AWWOA) – Operator Training Subsidy for Classroom Courses for Small Municipalities
The AWWOA offers a 25 per cent registration fee reduction for operators who are AWWOA members and are from small municipalities within Alberta, serving fewer than 5,000 people.
Environment Canada - EcoAction Community Funding Program
While municipalities are not eligible for direct funding, they are encouraged to partner with other organizations to support project proposals. Municipalities may also wish to share this program with local groups. Funding is available up to a maximum of $100,000 per project.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities – Green Municipal Fund
Green Municipal Fund funding is available to all municipal governments and their partners for environmental plans, feasibility studies and pilot projects, and capital projects. Grants covering up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for plans, feasibility studies and pilot projects to a maximum of $175,000 for plans and feasibility studies, and a maximum of $350,000 for pilot projects are available. Low-interest loans are also available up to $5 million to cover up to 80 per cent of eligible costs for capital projects.
Government of Canada/Alberta Municipal Affairs – Federal Gas Tax Fund
Federal Gas Tax Fund funding can be used by municipalities for various water and wastewater infrastructure projects, including water and wastewater systems, solid waste management, and disaster mitigation infrastructure. While this funding is available, it is also available to be used for other purposes such as public transit systems, solid waste management, and community capacity building. Given the large infrastructure deficits experienced by municipalities, this often makes the funding insufficient to cover all water and wastewater needs.
Land Stewardship Centre – Watershed Stewardship Grants
While Municipalities are not eligible to apply for this group, they can serve as a partner for a group that does not have legal status. Municipalities may also wish to share information about this program to local groups. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for communitybased projects.
If you are aware of any grant or transfer program that is not yet included on this site, contact us so that we can provide that information to Alberta’s municipalities.
AUMA policy on grants and transfers
In addition to the policies outlined below, AUMA has been diligent in advocating for increased provincial investments in water following a drop of over $205 million in funding for the Alberta Municipal Water and Wastewater Partnership and Water for Life Initiative since their peak in 2011.
AUMA’s 2012 Municipal Water Policy includes the following policy statements pertaining to grants and transfers:
- AUMA urges the Government of Alberta and Canada to work with municipalities to develop a funding strategy when new standards or regulations are introduced.
- AUMA urges the Government of Alberta to improve alignment between the water policy-makers, regulators and infrastructure funders.
- AUMA advocates for the Government of Alberta to provide sufficient, consistent core and project funding for Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils to carry out their primary mandate or watershed assessment and planning.
- AUMA urges the Government of Alberta to create incentives and reward innovation for water conservation, efficiency and productivity by all sectors.
- The Government of Alberta should update the criteria for water funding to give priority to requests from municipalities that have implemented or are working towards full metering, water conservation, efficiency and productivity planning, asset management and full cost accounting.
- The Government of Canada should make water and wastewater infrastructure eligible for funding under the Long Term Infrastructure Plan as opposed to creating a dedicated funding stream in order to allow municipalities to set their own infrastructure priorities.
- The Government of Alberta should increase funding for regional systems and extend the funding commitment to cover all phases of regional system development and transitional costs.
- Funding for regional systems should be consistent with inter-municipal and regional plans where they exist.
- AUMA urges the Government of Alberta to aid in funding and supporting small municipal and regional systems where populations may be decreasing and/or users may not be able to fully cover capital costs.
- AUMA will work with the Government of Alberta to explore emerging issues with regional systems such as a lack of direct access to funding for capital upgrades and disparities in regional funding programs.
AUMA’s 2014 Municipal Water Policy on Stormwater includes the following policy statements pertaining to funding:
- AUMA advocates that the governments of Alberta and Canada collaborate to provide dedicated funding to mitigate urban flooding.
- AUMA urges the Governments of Alberta and Canada to develop a dedicated funding program for local research and demonstration projects that improve stormwater management.
See our Policy Overview page for more information on AUMA’s Municipal Water Policies.