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Water Quality Improvement Grants

The Shuswap Watershed Council would like to help you keep nutrients on the land, and out of surface waters

In February 2021, the Shuswap Watershed Council invited applications to its Water Quality Grant Program. The program offers grant funding to help farmers, agri-businesses, and landowners reduce or divert the flow of nutrient-rich waters or effluent away from creeks, rivers, and lakes in the Shuswap watershed.

Up to $85,000 is available in 2021 for eligible applicants, subject to approval by the Shuswap Watershed Council.

The Water Quality Grant Program is now closed to applications.

For more information, contact:

Mike Simpson
SWC Program Manager
c/o Fraser Basin Council
200A - 1383 McGill Road
Kamloops, BC  V2C 6K7


Why is the Shuswap Watershed Council offering grant funding?

Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen are an important part of any ecosystem. In an aquatic system like Shuswap Lake, they are the basis of the food chain for algae, plants, invertebrates (insects), and fish. However, if too many nutrients – especially phosphorus – flow into a lake, it can trigger an algal bloom which in turn reduces the quality of water for drinking and recreation, creates odours, and can even be toxic to people, pets and livestock.

From 2016-2019, the Shuswap Watershed Council worked with researchers at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan to better understand nutrients in the Shuswap watershed. The results showed that the highest proportions of phosphorus in the lakes come from the settled valley bottoms of the Shuswap River and the Salmon River where there are farms, homes and commercial development.

To protect our water quality from too many nutrients, and the potential for more frequent or severe algal blooms, the Shuswap Watershed Council has created the Water Quality Grant Program to assist farmers and landowners with new management practices to reduce, capture or divert phosphorus-rich waters or effluent so that phosphorus doesn’t end up in rivers or lakes where it could contribute to water quality concerns.

Learn more about the SWC’s research in Understanding Nutrients and Water Quality in the Shuswap River and Salmon River.

Understanding Nutrients and Water Quality in the Shuswap River and Salmon River

Previous water quality improvement and restoration

The Shuswap Watershed Council has previously provided grants of $10,000 for projects on water quality improvement and restoration in the Shuswap watershed.

Gardom Lake Wetlands Restoration

In 2017-18, the SWC partnered with the Gardom Lake Stewardship Society on a wetland restoration project near Gardom Lake. This project is being done in phases; to-date, a small wetland has been created near a creek flowing into Gardom Lake. Wetlands are exceptional at improving water quality because they capture nutrients and sediment as water flows slowly through them. As a result of the new wetland, water flowing into Gardom Lake will be cleaner.


A volunteer with the Gardom Lake Stewardship Society is marking out where the wetland would be established near Gardom Lake. Photo: Gardom Lake Stewardship Society.


The newly created wetland near Gardom Lake, which will improve water quality in a nearby creek as it flows into Gardom Lake. The local stewardship society has plans to continue working on the wetland in subsequent phases, including planting native riparian species and creating wildlife habitat. Photo: Gardom Lake Stewardship Society.


Members of the Shuswap Water Protection Advisory Committee toured the wetland in May 2019.
Photo: Erin Vieira

Alderson Creek Exclusion Fencing

In 2016 the SWC partnered with Yucwmenlucwu, a resource management company owned and managed by Splatsin Indian Band, to install livestock exclusion fencing and plant riparian vegetation along the edges of Alderson Creek in the Shuswap River drainage. These techniques reduce erosion, siltation, and fecal pollution by livestock. The stream bank is stabilized, and the newly planted vegetation provides more shade and cover to the creek.


A crew works to install livestock exclusion fencing at Alderson Creek. Photo: Yucwmenlucwu.


One of the restored sites along Alderson Creek, with new livestock exclusion fencing and newly planted shrubs and trees. Photo: Yucwmenlucwu

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

FBC Project and
Partner Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351