GRCA approves $31.4-million budget

The Grand River Con­ser­vation Authority board unanimously approved its budget Feb. 27.

The budget is $31.4-million –  about $2.3 million higher than 2008, with much of the increase due to one-time capital projects or special programs, such as source water pro­tection, that are covered entirely by the province, muni­cipalities, or other sources.


The GRCA has three main sources of revenue:

– $9.5 million (33 per cent) from watershed municipalities, mostly raised through water bills or property taxes;

– $7.5-million (25 per cent) from grants, mostly from the provincial government;

– $13-million (43 per cent) from revenue it generates, such as from campground fees, planning fees, tree sales, hydroelectricity generation, rental property income and other sources.


The base operating budget – $17.8-million (56 per cent) – in­cludes ongoing programs, in­cluding flood prevention, environmental education, planning advice to municipalities and landowners, operation of trails, forest management and others.

Other expenditures include:

– $5.2 million for the source water protection program, to continue work to develop a source water protection plan un­der the Clean Water Act to implement the recommendations of the Walkerton Inquiry. All costs for this program are paid by the province

– $1.4-million to upgrade the Conestogo Dam near Dray­ton to increase discharge rates during extremely high flows;

– $265,000 for an update of the Grand River Basin Water Management Study, considering three issues: water quality, water supply, and flood control;

– $700,000 in grants to rural landowners under the Rural Water Quality Program, financ­ed by grants from watershed municipalities; and

– $300,000 to purchase environmentally sensitive land, covered by proceeds from earlier land sales.