Applicant guide


The goal of the Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program (ORCWP) is to protect Ottawa’s streams, rivers, wetlands and groundwater by providing cost-share grants to Ottawa farmers and rural landowners, including rural villages.

The Program encourages and assists rural landowners to complete projects and practices that protect water quality. This includes reducing pollution from uncontrolled sources, such as soil erosion from cropland; manure pile runoff and leaching; fuel, chemical and fertilizer spills; and improperly abandoned water wells. If not properly managed, these sources of pollution add sediment, nutrients, bacteria and chemicals to the City’s waterways and groundwater. The ORCWP offers cost-share grants and educational initiatives to promote best management practices and other rural land stewardship.

Program Delivery

The Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program is delivered in partnership with the local Conservation Authorities (CAs) of Ottawa (Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, and South Nation Conservation) to offer more localized landowner service and more consistent delivery of landowner grant programs. Landowners will be served by the Conservation Authority in which they reside. CAs will also streamline the application process for eligible landowners that are completing projects through the Green Acres Program or shoreline naturalization programs offered by the Rideau Valley, Mississippi Valley and South Nation Conservation Authorities.

What You Need to Know

Are you eligible?

You may be eligible if all of these apply:

  • Your project will protect and improve surface water and/or groundwater quality; and
  • You contact the Program to apply for funding prior to starting project;
  • Your proposed project is:
    • A farm project located in the City of Ottawa
    • A well decommissioning project located within the City of Ottawa
    • A non-farm project located within rural* Ottawa, or
    • An educational initiative delivered in the City of Ottawa by a not-for-profit organization
    • You have not received more than $25,000 in grants from the Ottawa Rural Clean Water Grants Program between 2016 – 2020.

*Rural, for the purposes of this Program, is defined as land located outside of the urban designation as defined in the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan, visit our interactive map for more information. Farms in the urban designation are eligible for farm projects.

Details on each eligible project can be found at

Pre-Requisites for Funding

Applicants with approved projects must provide the following prior to grant payment being issued:

  • Letter from EFP Coordinator confirming the completion of a peer-reviewed and approved 3rd or 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan (agricultural related projects)


  •  A copy of the applicant’s Organic Certification from Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd, OCIA International, or Trans Canada Organic Certification (agicultural related projects)


  • Completion of the Healthy Home Guidebook (non-agricultural related projects)
  • Exception: Projects applying for Educational Initiatives or Forest & Wetland Management Plan are not required to meet the above pre-requisites; however, they must meet all other requirements outlined in the project guidelines.

Permits and Approvals for Projects

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the project meets all legal requirements, including City by-laws, provincial and federal acts and regulations, and Conservation Authority permits/approvals.

How to Apply for Funding

  • Applicants completing projects through Green Acres or shoreline naturalization programs offered by the Rideau Valley, Mississippi Valley and South Nation Conservation Authorities will not need to submit an application. CA staff will top-up funding for eligible ORCWP projects.
  • All other applicants:
    • Contact the LandOwner Resource Centre (LRC) at (613) 692-3571 or toll free at 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1136 to verify that the proposed project is located in the eligible area and meets the funding guidelines. The LRC will forward eligible applicant’s contact information to your local CA or visit to download an application form.
    • Allow access to your property for site visits by ORCWP representatives. Site visits will be pre-arranged with you and will be conducted with you (or your representative) present.
    • Obtain all necessary permits or approvals prior to construction of your project.
    • Submit design information (e.g. dimensions, plans, drawings, etc) with your application where applicable.
    • Obtain quotes for the proposed project and submit with your application.
    • Provide or allow photos to be taken of the project site and if approved, during construction and of the final project.
    • Allow project photos to be used for promotional and reporting purposes.

To be eligible for funding, all applications must be submitted by May 1 of each year. A second call for applications may be held in September if program funds are not fully allocated in May. Applications will be accepted after these dates if funding is available and will be reviewed at the next scheduled Conservation Authority review committee meeting.


  • Landowners must initiate their application (i.e. contact the LRC or your local CA) PRIOR to starting the project(s). Retro-active funding is not available through the ORCWP.
  • Applicants must identify all funds applied for and/or received from other funding sources at the time of application.

What is generally eligible for funding?

  • Materials and supplies.
  • Professional fees and contract labour.
  • Permits and application fees.
  • Taxes are ineligible.
  • Refer to each individual project guideline for further eligibility information.

How Is Your Project Reviewed?

  • Applicants to the Green Acres or shoreline naturalization programs offered by the Rideau Valley, Mississippi Valley and South Nation Conservation Authorities will receive ORCWP approval if the proposed project has been approved by one of these other programs.
  • Applicants applying through their local CA:
    • Your local CA’s multi-stakeholder review committee will assess your project against the ORCWP Guidelines. If funding requests exceed available funding, priority will be given to projects with the greatest potential to improve and protect surface water and/or groundwater quality.
    • The review committee may decide at any time to fund an application at a grant rate or grant ceiling that is lower than the published maximum rate or ceiling. This decision may be made based on availability of funds or potential of the project to improve water quality.

Approved Projects

  • Applicants will receive confirmation of project approval from their ORCWP delivery staff.
  • Approved projects must be completed and paperwork submitted within 12 months from date of approval, or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. The completion deadline will be confirmed in the applicant’s approval letter.
  • Project invoices must be prepaid by the applicant.
  • Upon completion of project, submit the following:
    • Invoices (including detailed breakdown of labour, equipment, and other materials/services);
    • Proof of payment (e.g. cancelled cheques, invoices mark “paid” and signed by the supplier, credit card receipts);
    • Permits and Approvals;
    • Any other documents listed in your project guideline and/or approval letter;
    • Photos of completed project;
    • Farm projects: copy of letter from the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association confirming completion of the 3rd or 4th Edition of the Environmental Farm Plan; for Nutrient Management projects, a copy of the applicant’s Organic Certification under the Canada Organic Regime will be accepted in lieu of the Environmental Farm Plan, and
    • Education Initiatives: a final report outlining their audience reach, how the ORCWP was recognized for their support, and any other deliverables as per the approved project proposal.

Grant payment

After all of your final paperwork has been submitted and approved for payment by Program staff, your cheque will be issued by your local Conservation Authority.

Performance Incentives

If you have been approved for an annual performance incentive, you must contact your local Conservation Authority to arrange for an annual inspection of your project. The inspection will ensure that the project continues to be managed according to Project Guidelines and committee approval. If you are approved for both a grant and performance incentive for your project, the performance incentive will begin one year after the initial grant payment is made and will continue for a maximum of three years or until the termination of the Program, whichever occurs first.

Project Follow-up

Applicants will be sent an ORCWP sign to install on your property. Program representatives may also request to visit a project up to five years following completion. Follow-up sites visits will be pre-arranged.

Denial of Funding

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the review committee, you may appeal the decision using the following process:

  • Submit a letter of appeal to your Conservation Authority within three months of the original decision by the review committee. Your appeal will be heard by the Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program Committee at their next scheduled meeting.
  • You will be required to attend the meeting to present the details of your project to the Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program Committee.
  • The decision of the Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program Committee is final.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Information provided by the applicant on the application form, or as support material with the application, may be made available to Program staff and/or members of the Program’s committees. Application forms will be retained on file regardless of whether or not funding is granted. The names of all applicants may be made public as a result of submissions under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Information collected on the Application Form or as application support material may become part of a public document if your project receives grant funding from the Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program.


Landowner Resource Centre


Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Box 599
Manotick, ON, K4M 1A5
Phone: (613) 692-3571 or (800) 267-3504 ext. 1136

Fax: (613) 692-0831


Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority
10970 Hwy. 7

Carleton Place, ON K7C 3P1
Phone: (613) 253-0006

Fax: (613) 253-0122


South Nation Conservation
38 Victoria Street

P.O. Box 29
Finch, ON, K0C 1K0
Phone: (877) 984-2948 x. 221

Fax: (613) 984-2872