The province has committed additional funding to two high-demand flood and drought resiliency grant programs to help ensure public safety and protect communities against the impacts of severe weather.
Over the next four years, the government will invest an additional $31 million in the Alberta Community Resilience Program and $14 million in the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program, which was scheduled to wrap up in 2017.
“Flood and drought events can be devastating to Alberta families and our economy. Our additional investment in flood and drought resiliency will help our communities adapt to a changing climate where severe weather will be more common. Projects funded through these grant programs will help protect Albertans where they live and work and enhance our natural environment to positively impact both flood and drought resiliency.”
“We commend the Government of Alberta for its leadership, foresight and continued commitment to green infrastructure supporting watershed resilience. In relation to restored wetlands, the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program will provide sustained benefits from Alberta’s natural environment.”
To date, more than $100 million has been invested in community-level flood resiliency projects through the Alberta Community Resilience Program. Money has gone toward flood barriers, erosion control, storm-water management, safeguards for critical municipal water management infrastructure and other high-priority flood mitigation projects across the province.
Through three rounds of funding, Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program grants will fund the restoration, enhancement and creation of more than 600 hectares of wetlands and 40 kilometres of riparian areas, the lush strips of land adjacent to lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. Additionally, the program funds projects focused on education, outreach and the implementation of best management practices.
The original funding allocation for the Alberta Community Resilience Program was $500 million over 10 years. The Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program was a three-year, $21-million program.
Additional funding for both programs will begin in the 2017-18 budget year. Eligible organizations are encouraged to submit their application to the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program on or before February 17, 2017. The next application deadline for the Alberta Community Resilience Program is September 30, 2017.