OMWA - Background


The Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) is an association representing over 180 Public Drinking Water Authorities in Ontario serving over 7,000,000 customers and includes elected, appointed and management representatives. OMWA brings together a wide cross-section of expertise to provide direction and leadership on policy, legislative and regulatory issues. OMWA is oriented towards action aimed at ensuring the best possible safety, quality, reliability and sustainability of drinking water in Ontario.

Key Objectives
  • To act as the voice of Ontario's municipally-owned water supply authorities and their customers.
  • To promote the development of sound policy and the assurance of high standards of treatment, infrastructure, operations and general management for safe, reliable, high quality municipal water supplies.
  • To work with all levels of government, their agencies, and other associations to maintain safe, adequate and sustainable supply sources, control of pollution, and efficient use of potable public water supplies on a province-wide basis.
  • To represent municipally-owned water supply authorities in Ontario and their customers on all legislative reviews and regulatory matters pertaining to municipal water supplies.
  • To ensure adequate funding through charges and user rates dedicated solely to water systems, and to seek a uniform policy for rates and full-cost accounting.
  • To encourage a free exchange of information between all parties involved with drinking water in the province.
  • To co-operate with OWWA (Ontario Water Works Association - A Section of the American Water Works Association) on technical or other matters of mutual interest.
  • To promote the dissemination of information for public education on municipal water supply systems.
Key Beliefs

OMWA promotes the following basic principles for the operation of Ontario's public drinking water systems:

  • Full financial transparency (full-cost accounting, no cross-subsidization).
  • Direct public accountability (financial separation, dedicated revenues).
  • Capturing natural efficiencies (integration of various public utilities).
  • Maintaining public ownership and control of drinking water, a critical and essential municipal service.
  • Meaningful public input (before any change in water authority governance).
Main Activities
  • Representations with cabinet ministers
  • Meetings with MPPs, staff of various government ministries and other associations.
  • Members' handbook.
  • Pipeline - sponsored by OWWA (A Section of AWWA), OMWA, OWWEA and Consultants.
  • Councillors Handbook-Stewardship Responsibilities Under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • OWWA/OMWA Joint Conference and OWWEA Tradeshow, usually in early May.
  • Annual Drinking Water Leadership Summit in late Fall.
  • Fall and spring meetings of Eastern and Western Regions of OMWA.
Sections of the Association

The OMWA has four regions, Eastern, Southwestern, Northern and Central.

OMWA holds its Annual General Meeting at the OWWA/OMWA and OWWEA Tradeshow in early May.