The Shuswap Watershed Council is inviting applications for grants to promoting nutrient management on farms near creeks and rivers. (Victoria Haack/Shuswap Watershed Council)

The Shuswap Watershed Council is inviting applications for grants to promoting nutrient management on farms near creeks and rivers. (Victoria Haack/Shuswap Watershed Council)

Funding available for water quality improvement projects in the Shuswap

Applications open through Shuswap Watershed Council

Water quality grants are once again available to farmers, agri-businesses, hobby farmers and landowners within the Shuswap watershed.

On Nov. 15, the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) announced it was accepting applications for the third running of its Water Quality Grant Program. Up to $60,000 is available for projects that reduce, capture or divert nutrients away from surface waters. Funding will be distributed to successful applicants in early 2022.

“One of the SWC’s primary objectives is to protect and maintain the water quality in Shuswap and Mara Lakes,” said Erin Vieira, SWC program manager, explaining the goal of the grant program is to help farmers and landowners keep nutrients on the land and in the soil, being used by crops and vegetation.

Excess nutrients can contribute to algal blooms in the water, which reduces its quality for drinking and recreation. It can even become toxic to people, pets and livestock.

Vieira said to date, the SWC has provided funding to six Shuswap farms and to the BC Cattlemen’s Association in partnership with Splatsin First Nation. This funding was used for projects such as riparian restoration, livestock fencing, flood protection, manure and effluent storage and cover crop trials.

“We’re very pleased to be inviting another round of applications to our grant program,” said SWC chair Paul Demenok. “We look forward to creating new partnerships in the Shuswap to protect our water quality…”

More information about the grant program and how to apply is available at www.shuswapwater.ca. Applications are due by Jan. 31, 2022.

Read more: To cover or not to cover? Salmon Arm farmer shares knowledge from cover crop trials


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