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24th November 2015
EDITOR
BY MATT DYKSTRA, EDMONTON SUN
FIRST POSTED: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2015 07:54 PM MST UPDATED: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2015 10:26 PM MST

Alberta communities will benefit from a $170 million funding boost to water infrastructure projects, says the NDP government.

Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason said Thursday that the government will invest $545 million into water infrastructure over the next five years, including a $100 million increase to Water for Life funding and a $70 million increase to the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership, for municipal water supply and treatment, and wastewater treatment and disposal facilities.

Mason said he’s toured several water treatment facilities that “badly need support”, recalling a trip to Nanton this summer when the government invested $6 million to help the town rebuild it’s wastewater treatment facility.

“I thought (Nanton Mayor Rick Everett) was kidding when he told me how bad of shape it was in and how old it was but it was literally boards tied together with baling wire. It was really on it’s last leg and there are a lot of cases like that,” said Mason.

Al Kemmere, President of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, said it’s tough for rural communities to get water projects off the ground because they often serve a dispersed population across large geographic areas.

The funding will allow smaller communities to enhance their water infrastructure and boost public health, he said.

“It’s key for us. Is there enough? Well, there’s never enough but we are doing this on a team approach where municipalities are contributing. They have to have their skin in the game and the government has to have their skin in the game.”

Funding is provided as a percentage of eligible approved project costs. Municipalities must apply to receive funds.

http://www.calgarysun.com/2015/11/19/province-increases-water-funding