Water Security Agency

Flood Damage Reduction Program


The Flood Damage Reduction Program (FDRP) is a transition from the Emergency Flood Damage Reduction Program (EFDRP) that deals only with imminent flood risk. The FDRP provides cost share funding for implementing proactive flood damage prevention or reduction measures for urban municipalities (cities, towns and villages) and rural municipalities (hamlets) that face a risk of suffering recurrent flood damage in the future.

Risk of recurrent flood damage is defined as the historical existence of a flood hazard and demonstrated vulnerability to such flood events causing damages to the businesses and homes of citizens or municipal infrastructure. It also considers that there is a likelihood that the risk is ongoing.

The FDRP will consider proposals from municipalities to undertake activities in four streams:

  • Stream No. 1 – risk assessment (where either the program provides the consulting services or the municipality acts as the proponent to acquire hydrologic and/or hydraulic investigations);
  • Stream No. 2 – flood mapping (where the municipality acts as the proponent to acquire the products);
  • Stream No. 3 – mitigation planning (where the municipality acts as the proponent to acquire construction designs or undertake developing an emergency flood response plan); and,
  • Stream No. 4 – structural projects (where the municipality acts as the proponent to achieve construction of permanent flood protection works).

The program provides cost-shared assistance for flood damage reduction or prevention measures provided:

  • the measure is described as eligible in the program profile and provides long-term protection from risk of flood damage and meets provincial standards;
  • applications from municipalities will be accepted until Sept. 15, 2021;
  • eligible costs are incurred up to March 31, 2022;
  • the measure has been recommended by an engineer or technical specialist;
  • approval to undertake the measure is secured in advance from the Water Security Agency (WSA); and,
  • the applicable regulatory approvals are obtained prior to the start of implementation (e.g. drainage approval, Aquatic Habitat Protection Permit, etc.).

WSA will consider funding implementation of the most cost-effective measures toaddress the flood risk.

WSA will apply a cost-benefit analysis in certain cases to determine if the investment in protecting a value (e.g., a building) is sound, verifying whether its benefits (e.g., long-term value of the building) outweigh the costs for the protection, and if so, by how much.

The mitigation of flood risk associated with cropland, pastureland, orchards, golf courses or gardens, groundwater seepage into buildings, slope failure and shoreline erosion are not covered under the program.

The program will not provide funding for flood mitigation measures that qualify for assistance under the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program administered by the Ministry of Government Relations.

The program may provide funding for completion of the construction of permanent flood protection works previously funded under EFDRP that were not completed.

All project applications must meet provincial standards to be considered for funding.


Applications for financial, engineering and technical assistance under the program must be through your nearest WSA Office.

Applications will be considered for approval on a first-come, first-served basis until the program budget is fully allocated. Should any funds remain following payment processing for approved projects, additional applications in the queue will be considered.

Upon receipt of an application, a technical investigation will be undertaken and a report recommending options to mitigate flood risk will be prepared for the client.

Upon WSA approval of the flood mitigation measures, the municipality is required to sign an agreement with WSA outlining the flood mitigation measures to be implemented, the cost-sharing rate and other terms satisfactory to WSA.

Once an agreement is signed, the municipality will commence work or hire contractors or consultants to undertake the work. Upon completion of the work, original paid receipts will be submitted to WSA for payment. The WSA will not be responsible for interest charges on paid or unpaid invoices.

Final payment to the municipality is subject to final inspection and the receipt of required documentation (i.e., equipment logs, timesheets, invoices and paid receipts).

As a condition for assistance, the proponent shall hold WSA and the consultants, agentsand contractors contracted to WSA harmless from all damages or claims that may resultfrom measures undertaken pursuant to this program.

Implementation of flood mitigation measures must adhere to all federal, provincial and municipal regulatory requirements. 

Assistance Available

Technical inspections to evaluate the flood risk and to identify options to mitigate the risk will be provided by the Water Security Agency at no cost to the municipality.  Services are expected to include client/consultant discussions, site visits, cursory hydrological and other technical evaluations and the development of mitigation options and recommendations. 

Flood risk mitigation measures must provide long-term flood damage risk reduction or prevention to provincial standards and may include:

  • Development of hydrologic and hydraulic investigation reports;
  • Development of floodplain maps;
  • Development of emergency flood response plans;
  • Design and construction of permanent dykes/berms; 
  • Installation of culverts, structures and gates; 
  • Design and construction of permanent diversion works, ditches or channel improvements; 
  • Design and construction of flood proofing for buildings; and 
  • Relocation of buildings. 

Eligible costs:

  • Purchase of materials and supplies;
  • Consultant and contractor fees;
  • Road haul levies as part of materials cost (typically included in costs charged by contractors);
  • Overtime or exceptional labour for employees of the client (base salaries ineligible) or wages for employees hired specifically to implement funded flood mitigation measures;  
  • Equipment rental;
  • Costs of extraction and reclamation when materials are sourced from client’s own land;
  • Client’s use of their own equipment or machinery (at standard industry rates); and 
  • Provincial or GST sales tax if paid and nonredeemable by client.

Ineligible costs:

  • Costs associated with temporary measures (sandbagging, pumping, temporary ditching or diking and channel clearing) unless the measures are required to allow construction of permanent works; 
  • Purchase of land; 
  • Purchase of equipment; 
  • Purchase of materials sourced from the client’s own land (clay, sand, rock, etc.); 
  • Purchase of reusable temporary mitigation products (refillable dykes, water tubes, etc.);
  • Base salaries for municipal employees;  
  • Voluntary labour;  
  • Rental of hand tools or power tools owned or purchased by the client; 
  • Fees for permits from government agencies; and 
  • Goods and Services Tax (if it is refundable to the client).


  • Cost-shared financial assistance will be provided by the Water Security Agency at 50 per cent government contribution and 50 per cent municipal contribution. 

Program Contact

  • Information for the Flood Damage Reduction Program is available at your nearest WSA Office.