The Town of Okotoks is launching a new Water Smart Business Grant in 2022, for the commercial, industrial and institutional (ICI) sector in Okotoks, which incentivizes water conservation upgrades for both indoor and outdoor water projects. Businesses and institutions can apply to receive up to a maximum of $10,000 for eligible water-saving projects.
“For the last few years we’ve tried a very prescriptive version of a business water conservation rebate program, but that did not have a lot of uptake,” said Mayor Tanya Thorn. “This new grant provides a much larger incentive and more flexibility to businesses and institutions—and with a total of $40,000 available annually we have confidence they will find it worthwhile applying.”
There are four types of eligible projects including water-wise landscaping (xeriscape), irrigation upgrades, rain or storm water capture or reuse, and indoor water fixture upgrades. Applicants may include more than one project type in their submission and customize the project for their needs, as long as they stay within the grant guidelines.
“Interested businesses and organizations are encouraged to get started on the process early as the application does require some work up front to complete the application form, and round up supporting documents such as estimates, landscape plans, and material lists, depending on the project type,” explains Jinny Toffelmire, Environment and Sustainability Coordinator.
The application period is open January 12 to March 31, 2022 to businesses, institutions such as schools and churches, non-profit organizations, and condominium boards who have a utility account with the Town of Okotoks. All applications will then be evaluated and grant funding will be awarded based on the percentage of water the project saves in relation to the organization’s water use. Outdoor projects must have projected summer water savings of 15 to 30% or more, and indoor projects must project an annual savings of at least 20%.
This approach the Town is taking to offer water grants to the ICI sector is found in only a handful of other municipalities across Canada. For over 10 years, the Town has been offering rebates to residents; this new grant is an opportunity to ensure the Town continues to support other water users who take measures to increase water conservation efforts. As well as helping organizations save money and time, these projects also support the Town’s continued commitment long-term water conservation.
The application process, including a step-by-step guide, application forms, and a scoring rubric are available online at okotoks.ca/water-grant.