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Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program

Water: Climate mitigation studies funding

We provide grants for climate change mitigation studies that assess the feasibility of water projects that could lead to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions for municipal corporate assets and operations or through community-based initiatives.

We fund two types of studies:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Operational studies 

On this page, find information about the types of initiatives that are eligible for funding and requirements, who can apply, available funding, eligible and ineligible costs, deadlines, as well as the application form and supporting documents.

Eligible initiatives

Feasibility studies

A feasibility study assesses the technical and financial feasibility of a specific project to reduce or avoid GHG emissions. It uses a verifiable evaluation process that leads to a recommended course of action.

Examples of eligible feasibility studies

  • Making energy efficiency upgrades to a drinking or wastewater treatment plant.
  • Optimizing the distribution of water to make greater use of gravity fed systems.
  • Automating water collection and distribution.
  • Retrofit or new construction of an anaerobic waste treatment facility that processes biosolids and makes use of renewable biogas.

If you intend to apply for funding for a capital project through FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF) once your study is complete, make sure that your study includes the requirements for GMF capital projects related to water quality and conservation initiatives.

Targets for feasibility studies related to municipal corporate assets

Feasibility studies focused on a municipality's corporate assets should be designed to reach the target of 50 per cent reduction in GHG emissions from an existing baseline.

  • Two-thirds of the reduction in GHGs must come from efficiency measures.
  • Up to one-third may come from renewables.

Guidelines for feasibility studies related to community-based initiatives

There are no minimum targets for community-based initiatives, however your initiative should:

  • Maximize the available local GHG reduction opportunities.
  • Improve the uptake of renewable energy.
  • Promote new financial options to facilitate energy efficiency.
  • Consider efficiency measures before renewable options.
  • Develop methods and actions that complement municipal initiatives. 

If your feasibility study is not designed to reach one of these targets or guidelines, it may still be eligible for funding. Please contact an FCM advisor to discuss the funding opportunities available for your study.

Operational studies

An operational study 1) assesses the actual or potential benefit of changing the way a municipal service is delivered and managed or 2) enables research to support such a change.

Examples of eligible operational studies

  • Conducting research to design a program or policy change for a municipality that enables GHG emission reductions in wastewater management. These can include:

    • Implementing a new stormwater pricing policy.
    • Introducing wastewater user fees.
    • Changing the treatment process design for a wastewater facility.
  • Evaluating the effects of harmonizing policies across multiple jurisdictions through a regional storm water management plan.
  • Optimizing the use of water collection and distribution pumps.


There are no targets for operational studies.

Don't see your study listed here? Contact us!

Do you have another type of project with the potential to reduce GHG emissions in your municipality? We will consider a range of projects and approaches that accomplish this goal. Contact an FCM advisor to discuss your project and find out if it is eligible for funding.

Who can apply

Feasibility studies

  • Municipal governments.
  • Municipal partners working in partnership with a municipal government, which include:

    • A First Nation that has a shared service agreement with a municipal government related to infrastructure, climate change mitigation or climate change adaptation.
    • Regional, provincial or territorial organizations delivering municipal services.
    • Not-for-profit organizations.

Note: Private sector entities are not eligible as municipal partners.

Operational studies

Only municipal governments can apply for operational studies.

Funding available

  • Grants of up to $175,000
  • Funding for up to 80 per cent of eligible costs

Application deadline

Applications are accepted year-round.

Contact us before you apply

We encourage all applicants to contact an FCM advisor to ensure that your project is eligible for funding. Our advisors can work with you to prepare a successful application and answer questions regarding eligibility, funding or the application process.

  • Email us
  • Call us toll-free: 1-877-997-9926
  • In the Ottawa-Gatineau region: 613-907-6208

How to apply

  1. Review eligible and ineligible costs
    Learn about the eligible and ineligible costs that can be included in the budget of your application. 

    Note: Costs associated with preparing an application for this grant are not eligible for reimbursement.
  2. Review the project scorecard with evaluation criteria for self-assessment
    We recommend that you download the project scorecard to review the evaluation criteria and refer to it as you fill out your application. This will help strengthen your responses to each question.
  3. Complete the budget and workplan template
    Review and complete the budget and workplan template to include in your application. You will be directed to upload this Excel document as you complete the application form.
  4. Complete the application form
    Download the application form for this grant: Climate change mitigation studies and climate change adaptation studies  

Note: Quebec municipalities must follow this process to apply for funding from FCM's Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program.

Review the system requirements and instructions for using FCM's application forms, including details on how to submit your application.

Application review timeline and approval process

Learn more about the application review process, including timelines for approvals and funding decisions.

The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program is a new five-year, $75-million program designed to encourage Canadian municipalities to better prepare for and adapt to the new realities of climate change as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program is offered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.
Page Updated: 10/03/2017