For Immediate Release
Dufferin County Invests in Rural Water Quality Program
Funding supports on-the-ground farm & rural stewardship projects
UTOPIA, Ontario (January 11, 2018) – Dufferin County council is investing in rural water quality. In the fall, council passed a motion to contribute $20,000 per year in the Rural Water Quality Program for Dufferin County. The funding extends from 2018 to 2022.
The program is led by the Grand River Conservation Authority with support from neighbouring conservation authorities, local municipalities and other funding agencies.
Dufferin County’s investment over the next five years reaffirms its commitment to protecting streams, lakes and groundwater. There are far-ranging benefits to the environment, the community and economy, as Dufferin hosts the headwaters of many great river systems: the Nottawasaga, Grand, Credit, Humber and Saugeen rivers.
This livestock exclusion fencing protects a headwaters wetland, preserving its ability to filter water for the benefit of downstream communities.
The Rural Water Quality Program makes grants available for on-the-ground projects to improve water quality and restore aquatic and wildlife habitat. Landowners and farmers are encouraged to apply. Grants range from 50-100% to a maximum of $5,000 depending on project type. Eligible water quality projects include:
- livestock exclusion fencing from streams and wetlands
- tree planting
- decommissioning unused wells
- erosion control structures (land and in-water)
- nutrient management planning
- cover crops
- wetland creation to improve water quality
- clean water diversion from livestock yards
- and more
An Environmental Farm Plan or completed Rural Landowner Stewardship Guide is required to apply, as is a short application form.
Farmers helped create the Rural Water Quality Program. A committee of farmers and stewardship specialists evaluate any applications received and review any project’s potential to improve and protect water quality.
To learn more about applying for a grant, contact your local conservation authority:
Not a landowner, but want to help? Every year thousands of volunteers get down-and-dirty helping restore the environment. Call your local conservation authority for information on how to volunteer.
Dufferin County Roads – Living Snow Fence Program
Complementary to the Rural Water Quality Program, Dufferin County established a Living Snow Fence Program in 2013.
Through this program landowners receive trees and incentive funding to plant tree windbreaks along priority county roads to replace snow fences.
Property owners in the program receive grants of 100%, up to $5,000 per farm, with an annual incentive payments totalling $2,750/acre, paid out over four years, for each acre of farmland taken out of production in the interest of community safety and reduced wind erosion.
The cost of the trees and tree planting is covered by Dufferin County and the work is carried out by the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority or the Grand River Conservation Authority.
Since 2013, landowners have planted 15.3 km of living snow fence along county roads. These living snow fences improve road safety, reduce road closures, and provide environmental benefits by reducing the use of road salt, reducing wind erosion and provide tree cover. They are more cost-effective than traditional snow fences as they are more durable, and are estimated to perform for up to 80 years. Not to mention that they provide multiple benefits to farms, including improved crop yield.
To learn more about the living snow fence program, contact your local conservation authority.