Rural Water Quality

Ground water needs to be protected to meet the needs of current and future residents. Water quality on farms in Wellington County are protected and improved through two programmes:

Rural Water Quality Programme

Water Stewardship Programme

Rural ground water








The Rural Water Quality Programme encourages farms to complete upgrades to improve water quality. This initiative is funded by the County of Wellington and the City of Guelph. The programme is run through the Grand River Conservation Authority, but is delivered locally by all six conservation authorities.

Since 1999 the programme has:

  • Served over 1000 farm families
  • Completed more than 1,650 environmental projects
  • Fenced over 46 km of streams to keep cattle out

The Water Stewardship Programme awards a total of $25,000 grants per year. The programme seeks participation by:

  • Environmental and other community groups
  • Non-farm rural landowners

Click here for a list of current grant rates.

The Water Stewardship Programme is directed at ground improvements to water quality. Some examples include the following:

  • Inline pond removal
  • dam removal
  • reforestation along watercourses
  • streambank stabilization
  • channel rehabilitation
  • erosion control
  • surface water runoff management
  • retirement of marginal farmland
  • decommissioning of tile drains on retired farmland
  • wetland creation
  • wetland buffering
  • wetland improving the functioning

Click here for a programme application.