The Water Conservation and Quality Improvement (WCQI) grant program provides funds to local governments, irrigation districts, and non-profit organizations for projects that conserve and protect water, based on the recognition that we are all part of “One Valley, One Water.”
In addition to delivering successful projects put forward by local government and other water purveyors, the WCQI grant program builds a collaborative approach to addressing water management issues and promotes more uniform standards and best practices throughout the valley.
Up to $350,000 per year is made available by the Okanagan Basin Water Board for the program. Individual grants are $3,000 minimum and $30,000 maximum. Every year the program has been oversubscribed and competitive.
Since the program began awarding funds in 2006, the OBWB has awarded $5.8 million to 331 projects throughout the Okanagan. The groups behind these efforts, in turn, delivered projects worth more than $30 million to our valley – projects that have helped conserve and protect water in Canada’s most water-stressed region.
Projects include stream restoration work for fish, flood mitigation, and improved ecosystems, xeriscape demonstration gardens, water metering, foreshore inventory mapping, drinking water protection efforts like cattle-fencing, and much more.
Priority is given to projects that have a measurable outcome and demonstrate how goals will be met, have matching funding in place or applied for, or demonstrate a collaborative approach with other jurisdictions.
Projects that address issues of basin-wide significance and/or can be used as a model for other organizations are also given priority.