Watershed Security Fund Application 2024

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Application & Program Info

Welcome to the Watershed Security Fund funding application (WSF). Thank you for taking the time to apply for funding.

In 2023, the Province of B.C. made a historic investment to initiate the formation of the Watershed Security Fund (WSF/The Fund). The Real Estate Foundation of BC and the First Nations Water Caucus – with the First Nations Fisheries Council – are working together to provide interim Fund stewardship, and to support the co-development of the permanent, co-governed entity that will oversee and manage the Fund and grant program funding stream over the long term (details on our website).

In the interim, we are honoured to collaborate with community partners to begin flowing critical dollars into community to support watershed health and security through a WSF grant funding program. Water is life, and remains the most important, environmental, cultural, economic, and spiritual well-spring we share. Thank you for your shared commitment to this inspiring, impactful, and healing work.

Our current WSF funding intake opens June 3-26, 2024, for grants approved in September. Our second intake is planned to open in late 2024 / early 2025 for grants approved in Spring 2025. You can sign up for grant intake notifications here.

Before completing this application, we recommend you download our application guide from our grants program website here. It includes information on our funding intakes, streams, priorities, assessment criteria and eligibility guidelines.

Some high-level information is provided below.

The Watershed Security Fund supports:

  • Reconciliation and advancing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Restoring and maintaining ecosystem services and watershed health
  • Climate resiliency
  • Local watershed governance, planning & monitoring initiatives
  • Job creation and economic stimulus
  • Learning and relationship-building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities
There are 3 Funding Streams by grant sizes:
  • Stream 1: Headwaters – grants of up to $50,000
  • Stream 2: Creek – grants of up to $150,000
  • Stream 3: River – grants of up to $500,000
Grant funding will support projects and initiatives that prioritize reconciliation, ecosystem restoration and climate resilience. Funded projects will support healthy communities and sustainable economies across a range of project types in any of these areas of watershed-based work:

  • Watershed Collaboration, Planning & Governance
  • Watershed & Ecosystems Restoration
  • Nature-based Infrastructure
  • Watersheds & Food Systems
  • Monitoring & Assessment
  • Land & Water-based Learning, Knowledge Sharing
Eligibility Eligible Organizations for WSF grant funding include Indigenous or non-Indigenous:
  • Registered Non–profits
  • Educational Institutions
  • Social Enterprises (C3)
  • First Nations (including First Nation governments, Tribal Councils and others)
  • Local/Regional Governments
Eligibility is not restricted to Canada Revenue Agency registered charities or qualified donees. In addition to those listed above, some other types of organizations may be eligible.

WSF Grants are not able to fund:

  • Activities that primarily provide financial benefits for individuals
  • Debt retirement, reserves, mortgage paydowns
  • Retroactive expenses (costs incurred prior to funding being approved)
  • Purchase of land or large scale development of buildings
  • Endowments
  • Partisan political activities
  • Projects or initiatives that do not take place in what is known as BC. 
Applications for short-term or multi-year projects and initiatives (up to 3 years) can be submitted.

Questions with an asterisk (*) are required questions that need to be completed to submit the form. Please feel free to use brief, point form answers. See our application guide on the WSF grants website page here for more details.
You can also reach out to our Program Coordinator, Adarshana Thapa, grants@watershedsecurityfund.ca | 604-343-2620 | toll free 1-866-912-6800 ext. 101, if you have questions or feedback about the application process or our funding criteria and eligibility.

There are three ways to submit an application:

  1. Online Portal – Accessed through a link on the WSF grants website page.
  2. Word Document – Available to download from the WSF grants website page and submitted by email to grants@watershedsecurityfund.ca
  3. Zoom, Facetime or Phone Call Arranged through our Grants Program Coordinator, grants@watershedsecurityfund.ca. You’ll be connected with one of our grants program staff who will complete the application based on your conversation. A word version of the application will then be sent back to you, for you to confirm, finalize and submit by email to grants@watershedsecurityfund.ca. This option is available between June 3- 18, 2024. Please arrange this with our team well in advance, to allow time for us to schedule the call and then confirm and finalize the application content before the deadline of June 26.

If you reach out to our Program Coordinator well in advance of the deadline, there may be other options, such as submitting an application you previously prepared for another funding program, in lieu of our standard application. Please allow plenty of time so we can jointly ensure it provides the information we need to receive and review your application


  • You can use the zoom function on your browser to make form text larger if that makes it easier to read.
  • The online application form is in Plain Text format and cannot accommodate Rich Text like bold/italic styling or formatted bullet points. You can easily strip formatting when copy/pasting by pasting in plain text. (Ctrl+Shift+V for PC or Option+Cmd+Shift+V for Mac).
  • You will be notified of any errors in your online form responses upon clicking Submit and will be able to correct them.
  • Your online application form can be saved while in progress so that you or a colleague can return to it later. When you click on Save My Progress, you will be asked to set a username (email) and password to re-open the form. You will receive an email with a link to return to the form. Once you’ve logged back in, navigate to where you left off and continue. Click “Save My Progress” again only if you want to close or navigate away from the form before you complete and submit.
  • It is recommended to use the page numbers at the top of this form to navigate between pages. Using your browser's back button to navigate through the form will not save your progress.
  • You will have an opportunity to upload supplementary files (documents, videos, links) at the end of the application if you feel they illustrate important aspects of your project. These are welcome but optional (not required).
  • When you click Submit, you will be redirected to a confirmation page and a PDF copy of your submission will be emailed to you.
  • To avoid frustration with internet connection issues, we recommend using the word version of the application template to draft responses before copy/pasting into the online form. The word version of the application form is available on our grants website page here: watershedsecurityfund.ca/grants
Thank you!

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Applicant Organization

Application Contact - Primary
Application Contact - Primary
Please provide the name and contact information of the person we should contact if there are questions about your application. This is also the person who will be notified if your application is successful in being shortlisted or approved for funding.

Application Contact - Secondary #1
Application Contact - Secondary #1
Please provide the name and contact information of the secondary contact for this application.

Application Contact - Secondary #2
Application Contact - Secondary #2
Please provide the name and contact information of the other secondary contact for this application.

Organization Description

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The WSF is committed to upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This section is an opportunity to describe how UNDRIP principles and efforts toward reconciliation and reciprocity can be intentionally woven into organizational culture, practice, and project work.

First Nations Led organizations have the option of providing a distinct perspective on UNDRIP in relation to your project, through one optional question. Organizations that do not currently have First Nations people empowered at all levels have an opportunity to share how they are implementing meaningful approaches or overcoming barriers to upholding UNDRIP through a series of questions.  For smaller scale projects in Stream 1 (Headwaters) even initial actionable steps to learn about UNDRIP implementation and decolonizing practices can be an important starting point.

Successful applicants will be able to report again on these commitments after projects are underway or completed.

Please note that different questions appear below depending on your response to the question "Organizational Relationship to Indigenous Peoples" in Section 1 (page 2) about your classification within the Circle's I4DM Definitional Matrix.

Non-First Nations Led Organization - UNDRIP
For Non-First Nations-Led Organizations please complete the following section

Please tell us about your plans to incorporate any of the following into your project planning or implementation. For comments, we suggest under 200 words. Brief, point form notes are welcome.

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We’d like to learn about your project approaches to any of the following, if applicable.  For each of your responses, we suggest under 500 words. Brief, point form notes are welcome.

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Partners are not a requirement of funding but depending on the goals and activities of your project, the work may benefit from or depend on collaboration. You will not be evaluated on the number of partners you identify – we are most interested in hearing about those you feel are integral to project success, if any. Organizations only providing financial support are not considered partners for this question.

First Partner Details

Second Partner Details

Third Partner Details

Fourth Partner Details

Fifth Partner Details

Sixth Partner Details

Seventh Partner Details

Eighth Partner Details

Ninth Partner Details

This form does not have the ability to collect more than nine partners. Please include those that are most key to your project's success. If you have more than nine partners, you can list them on a separate document and upload it in the Supplementary Documents section on page 8 of this application form.

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Eligible expenses for WSF Funding include: staffing and labour; program or project planning, design, delivery, coordination, communications, consultant fees; convening & relationship building, workshops, travel; Indigenous ceremony & cultural protocols, honoraria, building cultural competency; and, admin (of up to 10%). We encourage proposal budgets that support elders, youth, and ceremony, and sharing the story of project work. Site costs and capital equipment costs are eligible for restoration and nature based infrastructure projects, with some limitations.

For Stream 1 requests, a budget template is not required.

For Stream 2 and Stream 3 requests, please download and complete the budget template document on the WSF grants website page. The application guide is also available on this page: https://watershedsecurityfund.ca/grants/
Project Budget

Please enter an unformatted number (no $ or ,) eg: 100000

Please enter an unformatted number (no $ or ,) eg: 49500
Additional Information
Enter an Amount Requested above for additional questions to appear.

As an example, you can mention Amount Requested, Description of Expenses, Total Project Cash Budget, Project Confirmed Funding, etc.

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Additional Information

Uploading Supplementary Documents or Letters of Support
Please use file names that provide some indication of the file contents and date of publication if applicable.

The following format is preferred: Org Name Acronym_Document Name_Date of Publication – eg: WSF_Drought Report_Jan 2023.pdf

With the exception of budget forms for Stream 2 and Stream 3 applications, supplementary files are not mandatory and your application will not be evaluated based on the number of files you share. Please only provide materials you feel are necessary for telling the story of your project. If you intend to submit your application through our online portal, please note it can only accommodate up to 5 attachments and the total size of all attachments must be below 30 MB. If you have larger files or additional key materials to share, please consider providing links to online versions in your response to “Additional Information” or you may email them to grants@watershedsecurityfund.ca.

Documents in PDF format are generally preferred, but Word and Excel files (particularly for budget forms) may also be uploaded through the online application portal (or included with your application by email). Video or image files of 10 MB or less may also be uploaded or included.

Note: Letters of support are welcome but not mandatory. Letters of support can also be in email format (please upload a PDF copy of the email). Letters of support addressed/submitted to other funders are also acceptable.

Upload File(s)

Review and Submit

Thank you for your time and effort in submitting an application. We appreciate this opportunity to learn about your organization and your proposed project. Once you click 'Submit', you will be prompted to review your responses before they are submitted.