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Water Quality Grants

Up to $65,000 in funding is being made available from the Shuswap Watershed Council in 2024. The latest round of grant applications closed on January 31, 2024. Please check back in the Fall 2024.

About the Water Quality Grant Program

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

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

The SWC's Water Quality Grant Program was first launched in early 2020. The purpose of the grant program is to provide financial assistance to farms and other large land holdings for projects to improve nutrient management, and to ultimately reduce the amount of nutrients that wash off or leach out of soils into nearby creeks, rivers, and lakes within the Shuswap watershed. By retaining nutrients in soils, and preventing their movement to nearby watercourses, a win-win situation is created for farms and for water quality.

The grant program is administered through a process of applications, review, and approvals.

For more information about the SWC’s Water Quality Grant Program, see the following:

Why is the Shuswap Watershed Council offering grant funding focused on nutrients?

TR_SWC_2/SWC_NutSum-2023_cover_web.pngNutrients 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 2016-2021, the Shuswap Watershed Council worked with researchers at UBC Okanagan to better understand nutrients in the Shuswap watershed. Two phases of research were carried out. The results showed us that the highest proportions of phosphorus in the lakes come from the settled valley bottoms of the Shuswap River and Salmon River where there are farms, homes, and commercial development. It has also shown us that the time to intervene with new and improved nutrient management strategies is now – because the levels of phosphorus in the rivers and lakes have been steadily increasing for about four decades.

To protect 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. Farmers, landowners and stewardship groups are invited to apply for funding for projects that protect water quality or to implement new practices to improve nutrient management and soil health. The ultimate goal of the grant program is to work with farms and other partners to stop the flow of phosphorus-rich waters and effluent so that nutrients stay in the soil, and don’t end up in rivers and lakes where it could contribute to water quality concerns.

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

For more information, contact:

Alex de Chantal
SWC Program Manager

c/o Fraser Basin Council
200A - 1383 McGill Road
Kamloops, BC  V2C 6K7

T: 250 314-9660

Summary of water quality improvement projects completed with funding from the Shuswap Watershed Council

2023 Grants

A fourth round of water quality protection and improvement projects assisted by grant funding from the Shuswap Watershed Council was carried out in 2023. Here is a summary of those projects.


Iron Horse Ranch (Celista) installed new paddock cross fencing to better manage animals on the property, improve the distribution of manure, and keep animals off wet areas of the property during the spring. Riparian fencing and off-stream waterers were installed to keep animals out of a creek that drains through the property.



Rivershore Nursery (Mara) introduced 4 acres of cover cropping, new organic soil amendments, and replaced overhead sprinkler irrigation with a more efficient drip system to improve soil health and reduce surface run-off to ditches and to the Shuswap River. The nursery also introduced a new mycorrhizal inoculation to new planting stock to reduce the need for phosphorus fertilizers.


Fresh Valley Farms (Spallumcheen) installed a new enclosed and automated pastured livestock system to manage livestock rotations across pastures and improve manure deposition, resulting in improved soil health and decreased nutrient loss through leaching and run-off.

Shuswap Organics (Grindrod) introduced new regenerative agriculture practices including cover cropping and no-till to improve soil health on the farm and improve its ability to store and cycle nutrients


Crystal Lake Ranch (Malakwa) installed new fencing adjacent to the riparian area along the Eagle River to control livestock access, and installed a new off-stream livestock waterer on the ranch.

2022 Grants

The third round of water quality protection and improvement projects assisted by grant funding from the SWC was carried out in 2022. Here is a summary of those projects.

Crystal Lake Ranch (Malakwa) - Livestock exclusion fencing

Crystal Lake Ranch (Malakwa) restored a 600-metre section of riverbank along the Eagle River, including bank stabilization, riparian habitat restoration, and fencing to control livestock access to the riparian area.

Gardom Creek


Gardom Creek

Gardom Lake Stewardship Society constructed an expansion to the wetland along upper Gardom Creek, which flows into Gardom Lake.

2021 Grants

The second round of water quality protection and improvement projects assisted by grant funding from the SWC was carried out in 2021. Here is a summary of those projects.


 Trinity Dairies (Enderby) improved drainage on cropland to prevent nutrient-enriched flood waters flowing off fields during spring freshet.

   Salmon Arm

Hillside Dreams Goat Dairy (Salmon Arm) introduced a new livestock grazing regime, including the construction of eight paddocks with automatic watering, used throughout the growing season to manage livestock manure and prevent direct access to the Salmon River by livestock.

2020 Grants

The first round of water quality improvement projects assisted by grant funding from the SWC was carried out in 2020. Here is a summary of those projects.

Swaan Farms

Swaan Farms installed a "HarveStore" to safely collect and store liquid effluent from dairy manure to be applied to crops on the farm at the appropriate time.


Hillside Dreams Goat Dairy completed a few projects including the installation of fencing between the farm and the Salmon River to keep livestock out of the river; construction of a stable berm between the river and a barn to mitigate the risk of flooding and prevent floodwaters from becoming nutrient-enriched in the nearby barnyard; and re-construction of a manure pit to improve its impermeability.


Lakeland Farms completed a cover-crop trial project, which involved planting various species for cover and demonstrating the techniques and benefits of cover crops to other producers in the area. Mike Schroeder of Lakeland Farms has summarized the five cover-crop trials carried out in 2020 on his farm: read Cover Crops Project - Fall 2021 report.

  Grass Roots

Grass Roots Dairies replaced an effluent treatment storage facility, including the installation of a sump, pump and pipe.

* * *

The SWC produced a short, informative video with these four Salmon Valley-based farms that received grant funding from the SWC in 2020.

Previous water quality improvement and restoration partnership projects

The Shuswap Watershed Council has previously provided one-time grants of $10,000 for water quality improvement and restoration projects.

Gardom Lake wetland restoration

In 2017-18, the SWC partnered with the Gardom Lake Stewardship Society on a wetland restoration project near Gardom Lake. A small wetland was built 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 marks out where the wetland would be established near Gardom Lake. 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 First Nation, to install livestock exclusion fencing and plant riparian vegetation along the edges of Alderson Creek in the Shuswap River drainage. These restoration 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.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in British Columbia.

Where We Work

We are grateful to live and work on the unceded ancestral territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.

Our Vision

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

Strategic Priorities

At the Fraser Basin Council, our strategic priorities are to take action on climate change, support healthy watersheds and water resources, and build sustainable and resilient communities.

With our partners, we work on a range of collaborative, multi-sector initiatives, such as those focused on flood management, community wildfire planning, air quality improvement, energy-efficient buildings, green transportation (including the uptake of electric vehicles and expansion of charging infrastructure), watershed planning and youth-driven climate action projects.

FBC Program Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Realizing UNDRIP Initiative

Contact Us

FBC staff work from our Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George offices, and from several other locations.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff or contact our administration office:

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

T: 604 488-5350