Background & mission

Background

The Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) represents more than 180 Municipalities and Public Drinking Water Authorities in Ontario, serving more than seven million 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.

OMWA’s Mission Statement:

To act as the voice of Ontario’s public water authorities through actions which sustain and protect the Life Cycle of Water.

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 include wastewater, recycled water and stormwater in our “one water” approach;
  • 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 and collaborate with related organizations and agencies 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 and meetings with cabinet ministers and their aides;
  • Meetings with MPPs, staff of various government ministries and other associations;
  • Members’ handbook;
  • Online presence with career opportunities and articles;
  • Newswire;
  • Pipeline magazine – co-sponsored by OMWA, OWWEA, OWWA, and consultants;
  • Councillors’ handbook and guides, including Stewardship Responsibilities Under the Safe Drinking Water Act;
  • Presence and participation at water-related trade shows, conferences and seminars; and at various municipal or political conferences and events;
  • Annual Water Symposium, and various education day workshops throughout the province;
  • Fall and spring meetings of Eastern and Western Regions of OMWA;
  • Annual General Meeting (usually in fall, but may be timed to coincide with a conference or other event).

Sections of the Association

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

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