A third round of grants to protect surface water quality in the Shuswap watershed is now available from the Shuswap Watershed Council.
“One of the SWC’s primary objectives is to protect and maintain the water quality in Shuswap and Mara Lakes,” explains SWC program manager Erin Vieira. “In particular, we’re focused on reducing nutrient inputs to rivers and lakes.”
The council’s water quality grants aim to prevent nutrient runoff from properties within the watershed. They’re available to farmers, agri-businesses, hobby farmers and other landowners.
The council notes that excessive nutrient runoff, especially phosphorus, can contribute to algal blooms that reduce water quality for drinking and recreational uses. In many cases, the water can become toxic for people, pets and livestock.
The program granted $65,470 to five farm-based water quality improvement projects during its first round. These included a cover crop project at Lakeland Farms; construction of an engineered berm at Hillside Dreams Goat Dairy; an effluent collection tank at Swaan Farms; pipes to a new concrete lagoon for the cheese plant at Grass Root Dairies; and fencing material for a partnership project in the Salmon River valley between the BC Cattlemen’s Association and Splatsin First Nation.
The second round granted $26,750 for field drainage at Trinity Dairies to prevent runoff into the Shuswap River and pasture improvements at Hillside Dreams Goat Dairy aimed at reducing the risk of manure entering the Salmon River.
The current intake will provide up to $60,000 to selected projects. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2022. Funding will be distributed to successful applicants in early 2022.