OTTAWA, ONT. – The Environment and Climate Change Committee today approved a permanent, expanded Rain Ready Ottawa (link is external) program to help residents manage rainfall on their properties, reduce the harmful impacts of stormwater runoff on small open watercourses and improve the health of Ottawa’s waterways. It is part of a suite of City programs that will help homeowners take action to make their properties more resilient to rainfall.

The program would build on the success of the three-year pilot by expanding to urban properties that drain into smaller open watercourses before reaching the Ottawa and Rideau rivers. The expanded area would cover most of the western and southern suburbs inside the Greenbelt.

The program would offer rebates for retrofits that redirect rain and make properties more absorbent, such as rain gardens and permeable driveways. Custom home assessments would be offered to low-rise condominiums and cooperative housing. The City will continue to offer online courses on stormwater management to all residents, provide training and certification in stormwater management to local landscapers, and install more demonstration rain gardens at City sites. More information and resources are available at

The Rain Ready Ottawa program will help the City meet its 50-year targets for stormwater retrofits on residential private properties. It aligns with efforts to manage stormwater and build resiliency, improve surface water quality, and reduce erosion in local watercourses including stormwater retrofit plans, the draft Infrastructure Master Plan(link is external) and the Climate Resiliency Strategy(link is external).

The Committee also approved the 2024 Financial Plan for Water Services(link is external), covering the City’s licenses for its drinking water systems from 2024 to 2029, as required by the Province. The plan provides a snapshot of the drinking water systems’ current and projected financial situation, as well as the resources needed to run and sustain the systems over the reporting period. It aligns with the City’s Long Range Financial Plan for water services.

The overall financial health of the City’s water infrastructure is viable over the six years covered in the report. The water system is receiving adequate resources to operate successfully, and the accumulated surplus over time allows for investment in infrastructure. The cash flow balance is positive over the six-year time frame, while the debt service costs are capped at 14 per cent, below the Council-approved 15-per-cent maximum.

Items received at this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, May 1.


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