Grand River Conservation Authority

Grand River Conservation Authority

banner-shanddam.jpegThe Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) manages water and other natural resources on behalf of 39 municipalities and close to one million residents of the Grand River watershed.

The GRCA is a partnership of watershed municipalities, and provides an avenue to work together, addressing environmental issues and opportunities that serve to benefit the entire Grand River watershed.

Headquartered in Cambridge, ON, the GRCA is the oldest water management agency in Canada and one of the oldest in the world.

Incorporated under the Conservation Authorities Act, the GRCA is one of 36 conservation authorities in the province, the GRCA is a member of Conservation Ontario.

A 26-member board of directors oversees the policies, programs and budget of the GRCA. Member municipalities appoint the members of the board. Smaller municipalities may share one representative, while larger municipalities may have one or more representatives. Most board members are elected officials, although some municipalities appoint unelected citizens to the GRCA board.

The GRCA budget is approved by the board of directors at the Annual General Meeting in February. About half of the GRCA's revenue is self-generated through park and camping fees, hydroelectricity generation, fees for service and other sources. Roughly one-third comes from watershed municipalities and about 10 per cent from the Ontario and federal governments. 

The GRCA's expenditures are focused on programs, services and projects to reduce flood damages, improve water quality, maintain a reliable water supply, protect natural areas and biodiversity, provide environmental education, operate conservation areas and trails, and manage other environmentally sensitive natural lands.

The Grand River Conservation Foundation is the fundraising partner of the GRCA. Since its founding in 1965 it has raised more than $13 million to support GRCA programs and projects.