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Rural Water Quality Program - Peel Region

Since 2005, the Peel Rural Water Quality Program has been improving water quality by partnering with agricultural and rural communities to reduce water contamination on agricultural lands.

In 2003, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) began to develop a comprehensive program to provide technical assistance and funding incentive for agricultural landowners in the Region of Peel to voluntarily implement agricultural beneficial management practices (BMP's) on their land.  With assistance from the following program partners and supporters, the Peel Rural Water Quality Program (PRWQP) was created in 2005:

  • Region of Peel
  • Great Lakes Sustainability Fund
  • Peel Federation of Agriculture
  • Peel Soil and Crop Improvement Association


The following grants are available to farmers who implement projects to construct new structures, upgrade or repair existing structures (under certain circumstances), and/or enhance land resources as part of their PRWQP project proposal application. A single property may be eligible for grants under each category.  Applicants are encouraged to seek funding from other sources as grants may be combined.  Total grants paid from the Peel Rural Water Quality Program in combination with funding from other sources cannot exceed 80% of the total project cost (with some exceptions).  Applicants are required to inform Program staff if additional funding is secured. 

Eligible Project

Grant Rate

Grant Cap

Barnyard Runoff Control & Clean Water Diversion



Cover Crops

$100/acre up to 50 acres*

Education & Training



Erosion Control Structures



Fuel & Chemical Storage



Integrated Pest Management



Irrigation Management



Livestock Fencing from Environmentally Sensitive Features



Manure Storage & Handling Systems and Composting Facilities



Milkhouse Washwater Disposal



Natural Area Enhancement & Creation



Nutrient Management Plan



Nutrient Management Strategy



Private Well Abandonment

Offered through the Region of Peel

Private Well Upgrade



Silage Storage Enhancement & Relocation



Tree Planting



*       Limited to a maximum of 50 ac/farm business over the life of the program
**     Limited to once per year
***   100% grant rate will apply on materials only if installed by landowner
**** Only available to farms not currently phased into nutrient management 



1. A grant to implement all or parts of a PRWQP project proposal application may be paid to an individual applicant* who:

a) Is a resident of Ontario; and
b) Is a registered owner of the property** that:

i) Has a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN); or
ii) Has a copy of a FBRN Religious Exemption letter obtained from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Appeal Tribunal; and/or
iii) Files business and/or farm income/loss taxes in Ontario.

* A partnership or corporation, controlled by Ontario residents, is considered to be one applicant and must meet all of the above conditions.
** Under this program, a person is deemed to be the owner of land if:

i) The person is the registered owner of the land and resides in the Province of Ontario for a minimum of 180 days per year; or
ii) The person leases the land for farming from the registered owner and has signed a lease that is satisfactory to Program staff.

2. Completes a current edition Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan (EFP).

3. The project must be located in the Region of Peel and protects, restores and/or enhances surface or ground water quality, air or soil quality and/or fish and wildlife habitat in the Region of Peel.

4. Projects must meet all legal requirements including but not limited to:

  • Canada Farm Building Code
  • Conservation Acts
  • Ontario Building Code
  • Provincial Acts
  • Provincial and Regional highway setbacks
  • Regional and Municipal official plans and by-laws

5. The following costs are eligible for grant assistance:

  • Required permits
  • Purchased materials and supplies
  • Professional fees
  • Fees for design, construction and supervision. Renovations to existing structures must demonstrate a program benefit.

6. Innovative technologies and projects that do not fall within current project categories may be considered on a project by project basis and are subject to approval by Program staff, Region of Peel and the Approvals Committee. Innovative technologies and projects must clearly demonstrate program benefits. For more information on what may or may not be considered an eligible innovative technology or project please contact Program staff.

7. The Region of Peel, in consultation with the PRWQP partners, will review the eligible project categories and program guidelines from time to time and may alter these at its discretion.

Please note:

  • All approvals and permits are the responsibility of the applicant.
  • The labour, machinery use and in-kind time of the applicant, the applicant's immediate family and the applicant's business are not an eligible cost.


1. Contact Program staff to verify that your proposed project meets PRWQP guidelines and to arrange a site visit at your project location prior to project implementation. Program staff can help provide and co-ordinate technical assistance to develop your project as well as provide guidance to current project eligibility.

2. Obtain a PRWQP project proposal application from Program staff.

3. Complete all sections of your PRWQP project proposal application, sign the project application form and submit the application and supporting documentation to Program staff. Program staff are available to assist you in this process.

4. Using the information on your PRWQP project proposal application and information gathered on the site visit, Program staff will develop an anonymous* project summary which is then circulated to the Region of Peel staff for review of the projects technical components, conformity to the PRWQP guidelines and its potential to achieve program goals. From this review, Regional staff provide project recommendations to the Approvals Committee.

5. The Approvals Committee will evaluate the project based on its conformity to the PRWQP guidelines and on its potential to protect and improve environmental quality. The Approvals Committee has the option to approve, deny or defer and/or place conditions on funding. The Approvals Committee meets on a quarterly basis or as required.

6. Once the PRWQP project proposal application has been reviewed and approved by the Approvals Committee, you will be notified by Program staff to proceed with the project.

7. When the project is complete, paid for in full, and you have copies of all receipts and other pertinent documents (i.e. permits), notify Program staff. A final site visit is required to confirm that the project has been completed as outlined in the project proposal application.

8. Upon confirmation of requirements in Step #7, your cost-share payment will be processed and sent to you via mail.

* Projects on properties within a Source Water Protection threat area and which require a Risk Management Plan will be reviewed by the Region of Peel's Source Water Protection Risk Management Office. Property information, such as owner name and address, will be shared with the Risk Management Office during this review process. If the project is approved by both the Risk Management Office and the Approvals Committee, these projects may be viewed as a higher priority for funding.


The map below illustrates the Peel Rural Water Quality Program's area of eligibility for landowner participation in Peel Region. The program is administered by Toronto and Region Conservation (shown in orange)and Credit Valley Conservation (shown in yellow). Landowners should contact their respective Conservation Authority for assistance. 

Region of Peel Map


1. Grants are limited to properties in the Region of Peel, with a completed PRWQP project proposal application, that have the potential to significantly protect, enhance and/or restore environmental quality.

2. Grants are limited to enhancing and/or restoring water, air, soil or fish and wildlife habitat quality or preventing water, air, soil or fish and wildlife habitat impairment on existing farms. New operations, additions to the farmstead, new buildings or building expansions to increase herd capacity are not eligible under this program. A grant may be paid on a pro-rated basis for livestock operations only under the following circumstances:

  • In cases where the structure has been sized and constructed for an expanded operation, a simple arithmetic formula will be used. For example, a farmer currently has a herd of 50 dairy cows (including heifers and dry cows) and plans to expand to 75; the storage is sized and constructed for the 75 herd size. The eligible grant would be calculated based on 50/75 or 66% of the final cost of the project.
  • In cases where the herd size has not increased and where the structure has been constructed larger than that proposed in the approved PRWQP project proposal application and in excess of the 400 day program maximum, a simple arithmetic formula will be used. The volume of the approved structure will be divided by the volume of the structure constructed to arrive at the pro-rating factor.

3. Any applicant who proceeds with a project before it has been approved by the Approvals Committee has no assurance that financial assistance will be provided.

4. An applicant must specify the program year in which the project will be completed. If the project cannot be completed within the specified year, the grant will not be paid. However, applicants may request, in writing, an extension from Program staff.

5. Projects initiated and/or completed before April 1st of the previous program year are not eligible for funding. For completed projects applying for retro-active funding, the Approvals Committee reserves the right to approve a project with conditions so that the maximum environmental benefit is ensured.

6. Funds will be allocated on a priority basis. Those projects with the higher potential for improving environmental quality will be considered first.

7. If the projects proposed in a single year exceed the annual budget, the Approvals Committee may restrict the number of grants available to meet local priorities and budgets. Applicants may apply again in the following year.

8. Other financial assistance programs can be used in combination with PRWQP grants. Applicants cannot use outside funds as their cost-share contribution to the project.


For more information or to discuss your project and to arrange a site visit, please contact:
Nadine Abrams, C.E.T.
Coordinator, Rural Clean Water Program
Toronto and Region Conservation
Office: (416) 661-6600 ext. 5349

For more information or to discuss your project and to arrange a site visit, please contact:
Nadine Abrams, C.E.T.
Coordinator, Rural Clean Water Program
Toronto and Region Conservation
Office: (416) 661-6600 ext. 5349