TOOLS >   2 – Funding

Option 3. Develop Corporate Partnerships

Businesses recognize the benefits of a having a good environmental reputation. Many participate in programs to minimize or compensate for their environmental impacts because it increases their social licence to operate. Increasingly, citizens expect that businesses operate not only according to regulatory permission, but also to social standards; governments recognize this and are more willing to grant operational permits or licences to businesses with popular support.

Focus on developing corporate relationships with businesses whose community program goals align with your source water protection endeavours. They may be willing to volunteer labour and equipment or direct funds to a partnering environmental group.

Option 4. Earn Conservation Compensation Credits

Municipalities can create a compensation and credit system whereby fees are paid by developers when ecological services are disturbed due to construction, and credits are generated through the restoration and/or protection of habitat such as wetlands, riparian areas, and floodplains.

Option 5. Earmark Development Permit Fees

Municipalities could mandate environmental protection standards or rehabilitation as part of development permits. They could also earmark fees from development permits so that DPs cover more than just the staff time to manage them.

Option 6. Earn Activity-Specific Revenue

Municipalities could instigate a User-Pay-To-Play system to collect fees, such as boat launch fees. Municipalities could formalize an agreement to apply a standard rate at all major lakes for one of annual launch passes, daily launch passes, parking lot charges, or a combination pass.

A 2008 study of 27 boat launches found that 52,820 boats were launched between May 16 and September 14, averaging 429 boats/day in the Okanagan. Major boat launches in the Okanagan charge for parking, but some are currently free of charge. Port Moody charges $21.10/day + tax for launch access and parking. Annual passes are available to residents at $169.15 + tax and to non-residents for $269.75 + tax. If this user fee system was applied to the Okanagan, it could generate funds to support programs that protect the mainstem lakes such as, Don’t Move A Mussel.

Option 7. Obtain Grant Funding

Grants are a good source of short-term or supplemental funds but should not be relied on for long-term because programs usually operate for a short duration—hence frustration with unreliable funding.

Short-term funds are available from these providers: Infrastructure Planning Grants; Okanagan Basin Water Board; Green Municipal Fund; Civic Info; BC Economic Development and Funding Grants; Real Estate Foundation of BC; Government of Canada Environmental Funding; and Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Program.

Pro Tip: Prepare regular annual or biannual 1-page updates and brief (3 minute) presentations of source water protection wins that received sustained funding to maintain interest of funders and stakeholders.