The City of Ottawa’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee approved modifications to make the Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program even more successful over the next five years.

The program provides cost-share grants to farmers and rural landowners for projects that protect surface and groundwater quality. With an annual budget of $200,000, applicants are eligible every year for grants of up to $15,000 for 18 different project types.

Following a five-year review, the Committee approved changes to the program. It added wetland habitat restoration to the list of eligible projects. To promote certain priority project types, the Committee also approved modified criteria that would give precedence to specific erosion control projects.

The grant structure for tile drain control projects would change to increase cost sharing. Grant amounts for chemical or fuel storage projects, nutrient management planning and precision farming projects, and work on septic system repair or replacement would increase.

Recommendations from the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meeting will rise to Council on May 12, 2021.

The City has been running the program since 2000. Since that time, it has delivered $2.1 million in grants to more than 1,300 projects. Landowners have contributed an extra $10.1 million towards those projects.

More information about eligible projects and how to apply is available here.

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