Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP)

Project Funding

How much funding is available under the program?

Beginning in 2017, a total of $14 million over four years is available under the WRRP. Funding will be focused on areas of highest priority for flood or drought mitigation measures.

Consideration will be given to the relative equitable distribution of funds across the province’s watersheds.

What costs are eligible for funding under the program?

Under the WRRP, funding is limited to certain costs of an eligible project. Eligible costs include:

  • Salaries and benefits for project staff
  • Operating expenses related to the project
  • Capital infrastructure directly tied to projects
  • Administrative and legal costs
  • Materials and deliverables directly tied to the project
  • Technical consulting and professional services
  • Education, communication and outreach activities related to the project
  • Post project evaluation performed within the program term and directly linked to project deliverables

What costs are not eligible for funding under the program?

Costs not eligible for funding include:

  • Expenditures or costs incurred prior to receiving project approval
  • Purchase of capital equipment not directly tied to the project
  • Purchase or construction of real property or structural works
  • Purchase of fleet
  • Purchase of equipment exceeding $5,000
  • Land or wetland conservation offsets or compensation
  • Academic research not tied to a specific approved WRRP
  • Policy or program changes
  • Lobbying efforts or any effort expanded in preparation of this application

What are the funding priorities of the program?

Priorities for short or long-term projects will include:

  • High-risk/contributing areas at the watershed level
  • Floodplain or channel naturalization
  • Bank stabilization through riparian enhancements or approved bio-engineering techniques
  • Wetland restoration and creation
  • Protection of existing natural features and key areas
  • Projects that provide a high benefit to flood or drought resiliency

Projects Eligible for Funding

Who is eligible to receive funds under the program?

Non-governmental organizations, stewardship groups and other not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, First Nations, and all local authorities are eligible to receive funds under the program, provided that it is for a project undertaken in partnership with landowners.

Private entities, whether it is an individual or enterprise, are eligible to participate and contribute to projects, but are not eligible to receive funding under the WRRP. Partnerships between multiple stakeholders are encouraged under this program.

What projects are eligible for funding under the program?

The WRRP is limited to watershed mitigation efforts that promote the long-term ability of watersheds to mitigate the effects of future flood and drought events.

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Riparian enhancements (e.g. fencing, riparian enhancements, plantings, grazing management, off-stream watering, etc.)
  • Wetland enhancements (e.g. wetland creation, conservation or restoration, etc.)
  • Floodplain/river improvements (e.g. channel naturalization, removal of old structures, removal of flow impediments, re-vegetation, floodplain storage capacity enhancements, etc.)
  • Creation/increase of absorptive capacities of a watershed
  • Irrigation and drainage district enhancements
  • Conservation initiatives
  • Data collection efforts for the purpose of research, evaluation and assessment related to a specific project(s) for watershed resiliency
  • Education and outreach associated with a specific project(s) for watershed resiliency

What projects are not eligible for funding under the program?

Structural mitigation efforts that entail the use of large-scale physical construction to reduce or avoid impacts related to flooding or drought are not eligible under the program. Structural projects eligible for funding under Alberta Environment and Parks’ (AEP) Alberta Community Resiliency Program are not eligible to receive funding under the WRRP.

Examples of ineligible projects include:

  • Structural restoration or construction: dams, berms, dykes, tunnels, riprap, storm water ponds
  • Municipal infrastructure, such as stormwater ponds, etc.
  • Groyne and other in-stream structures
  • River training or realignment
  • Erosion protection efforts

What are the different categories of eligible projects?

Funding will be provided to three categories of projects:

  • Short-term restoration activities that can be implemented immediately and completed this year that have a clear and demonstrable benefit to the watershed’s flood or drought mitigation abilities
  • Funding the first year of a multi-year proposal, including initial project planning and development related to partnership project for flood or drought mitigation that will be implemented in subsequent grant years of the program
  • The undertaking of education, outreach, data collection, research or other planning activities related to long-term projects to be funded and completed in subsequent grant years of the program that are directly tied to watershed restoration, resiliency and "on the ground" projects

Project Selection Criteria

How will projects be selected?

The primary criteria taken into consideration during the selection process are flood and drought mitigation (e.g. degree the project mitigates the impacts from flood or droughts) and efforts to reduce risk to community safety and health (e.g. headwaters and floodplains where individuals could be affected).

Secondary criteria such as biodiversity and additional environmental benefits, and complementary criteria including data gathering, capacity building, and outreach, education and stewardship, will also be considered.

For a more comprehensive list of criteria please see "Project Selection Criteria" in the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program Application Overview document.

Application Overview

How do I apply and what is the deadline for application?

Applications for the WRRP 2017/2018 funding year must be submitted by Friday, February 17, 2017, to:

Applications may also be delivered in person or mailed to:

Government of Alberta
Alberta Environment and Parks
#100, 3115 – 12 Street N.E.
Calgary, Alberta T2E 7J2

When will applications be reviewed?

Applications will be reviewed and applicants notified of the results of their application in summer 2017.

Evaluation and Reporting

If a project is approved for funding, is there a defined date by which the project must be complete?

All projects will be assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on the type and size of project. All projects should be completed by March 31, 2021.

Are approved projects subject to audits?

AEP will be auditing projects to ensure that the works were completed as proposed and all costs are tied to the associated proposal/project.

Are final project reports required upon completion of the project?

Once the project is completed, a summary report will be required, including all applicable financial records tied to the project.


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Updated: Feb 6, 2017