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Help Improve Water Quality in Haldimand County

As a landowner, you can help improve water quality in Haldimand County by participating in the Rural Water Quality Program.

Through the program, the County helps private rural landowners implement agricultural beneficial management practice projects to protect and improve water quality. Participation in the Rural Water Quality Program is voluntary.

The benefits of improved water quality include:

  • Safe, secure water supply
  • Healthy aquatic ecosystem
  • Increased recreational opportunities
  • Sustainable agricultural operations
  • Vibrant economy

Everyone benefits when water quality is improved and protected.

Projects Eligible for Funding


  • To improve surface water quality by controlling livestock access to watercourses.

Eligible projects :

  • fencing along watercourses/ wetlands
    livestock crossings
    alternative watering devices

Grant Rate for Combining Grants: 50%
Maximum RWQP Grant rate: 75%-100%*
Maximum grant: $5,000
*livestock access restriction materials are eligible for 100% cost-share if installed by the landowner.

· To control soil erosion problems on farmland and watercourses which impact surface water quality.
Eligible Projects:
· Structures such as; Grass waterways, Water and sediment control basins, Terraces, drop structures, vegetation strips
· Streambank stabilization including ditchbank seeding, spillway drop structures, culvert protection, and bioengineering techniques.
· Associated tile inlet and outlet structures
· Improvements to existing stream crossings for machinery.
Grant Rate for Combining Grants: 50%
Maximum RWQP Grant rate: 50%
Maximum grant: $5,000

· To improve water quality by retiring fragile agricultural land into appropriate native
Eligible Projects:
· Planting of appropriate native species including prairie vegetation and tree/shrub
species on retired fragile agricultural land such as floodplains, steeply sloped and
erosion prone land.
· Planting/seeding buffer areas along watercourses and wetlands.
· Tree windbreak establishment to prevent wind erosion.
Grant Rate for Combining Grants: 30%
Maximum RWQP Grant rate: 80%
Maximum grant: $5,000


  • To implement living snow fences in Haldimand County in priority areas.

Maximum RWQP Grant rate: 100%

Maximum grant: $5,000


  • To prevent groundwater contamination via improperly abandoned or unused water wells by encouraging the proper plugging of wells that are dry or no longer used

Eligible Projects:

  • Proper plugging of unused water wells (dug, bored or drilled) by a licensed well

Maximum grant: $1,000


  • To control sediment, nutrients and elevated flows from agricultural runoff.
  • Project should be designed to increase and promote wildlife habitat.
    Eligible Projects:
  • Berms with culverts, control structures, and overflow spillways located between field runoff and natural habitat down slope (watercourse, wooded ravine, etc.)
  • Dugouts excavated between field runoff and natural habitat down slope

Grant Rate for Combining Grants: 50%
Maximum RWQP Grant rate: 80%
Maximum grant: $5,000


  • To promote the establishment and over-wintering of cover crops (living or dead), which help provide soil protection and reduce soil erosion to watercourses.
  • To protect groundwater by promoting biological nitrogen fixation.

Performance Incentive: $20/acre
Maximum Acreage: 50 acres per farm operation
Maximum Grant : $1,000

How to Apply

  1. Attend an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) workshop and complete the worksheets applicable to your farming operation. The EFP is delivered locally by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. Call Tom Tancock, the EFP workshop coordinator at (905) 685-4367 or email for details and workshop dates.
  2. Contact the Grand River Conservation Authority Staff to assist you with planning your project and applying to the program.
  3. Submit the application to the Rural Water Quality Program for review. The Review Committee consists of the Haldimand County Agricultural Advisory committee and agency staff who will evaluate the project on its potential to protect and improve water quality. The Review Committee meets on a bimonthly basis and will review proposals as required.
  4. Once the project proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Rural Water Quality Program Review Committee, you will be notified to proceed with the project.
  5. When the project is completed, paid for, and you have copies of all necessary receipts, notify Conservation Authority staff. A site inspection is required to confirm that the project is complete. At that time you can submit original invoices marked paid and proof of payment (invoice signed “paid in full” by contractor, a copy of the front and back of cancelled cheques or a bank statement) for all eligible project expenses to program staff.
  6. Within 5 weeks of a site inspection that determines that the work is complete and satisfactory, your cost-share payment will be sent to you.

Who to Contact

For more information on the Rural Water Quality Program, please contact:

Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism Division
(905) 318-5932 ext. 6331