Alberta is no stranger to emergencies. In recent years, many parts of the province have experienced flooding while many others have seen water shortages and are at risk of severe drought this year. Developing the local infrastructure needed to protect residents from these extreme weather events is expensive for communities.

If Budget 2024 passes, $125 million would be invested over the next five years for Alberta’s new Drought and Flood Protection Program. This program is designed to help vulnerable municipalities and Indigenous communities across the province develop the long-term infrastructure needed to improve their drought and flood resilience and adapt to severe weather.

“Droughts and floods can devastate public infrastructure and private property, disrupt our economy, damage the environment and put lives at risk. The new Drought and Flood Protection Program would help communities across the province build the practical infrastructure they need to help protect people’s homes and keep businesses going, regardless of the weather.”

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas

“Budget 2024 makes strategic investments to promote the sustainable growth of our province. Investments in wildfire preparedness, as well as water management and infrastructure, will help enhance our readiness for natural disasters to protect Albertans’ lives and livelihoods.”

Nate Horner, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board

The Drought and Flood Protection Program would help fund the design and construction of projects that protect critical infrastructure from flooding and drought and help to protect public safety. This could include projects to relocate or drought-proof critical infrastructure, improve drainage or water retention ponds, and stabilize riverbanks or construct flood barriers. The program would be application-based and municipalities, improvement districts, special areas, Metis Settlements and First Nations would all be eligible to apply.

“As rural municipalities manage over 85 per cent of Alberta’s land mass, including many areas that historically face drought and flood risks, many have prioritized increased flood and drought monitoring, resilience and mitigation projects. Because Alberta faces a hotter and drier future with increased occurrences of major storms, provincial support for local rural resiliency projects will become a more and more important investment in protecting rural communities, residents and industries. RMA is pleased with the introduction of the Drought and Flood Protection Program, and we look forward to seeing the innovative ways that the funding would be put to use by rural municipalities to lessen impacts of drought and flood events.”

Paul McLauchlin, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta

“Alberta Municipalities appreciates the provincial government’s leadership in preparing Albertans for the likelihood of severe drought this year. This program gives municipalities the support they need to strengthen their local and regional drought responses.”

Tyler Gandam, president, Alberta Municipalities

The Drought and Flood Protection Program builds on the work of the Alberta Community Resilience Program, which ended in 2020. Additional program details, including eligibility requirements, application deadlines and cost-sharing components, will be released when the program opens later this year.

This is part of the Alberta government’s work to prepare for the risk of a severe drought this year and develop the long-term strategies and infrastructure needed to help maximize Alberta’s long-term water supply. Recent actions include standing up the Drought Command Team, creating the new Water Advisory Committee, conducting advanced modelling and launching the largest voluntary water-sharing discussions in provincial history.

Budget 2024 is a responsible plan to strengthen health care and education, build safe and supportive communities, manage the province’s resources wisely and promote job creation to continue to build Alberta’s competitive advantage.

Quick facts

  • If passed, Budget 2024 would allocate $25 million per year from 2024-25 through 2028-29 for the Drought and Flood Protection Program.
  • Projects eligible for funding under Drought and Flood Protection Program would include, but not be limited to:
    • Drought and flood proofing or relocation of critical infrastructure and infrastructure required to access those services.
    • Structural measures, such as berms, flood walls, bank protection and stabilization works, retention ponds and diversion structures intended to protect critical infrastructure and ensure public safety.
    • Purchase of property for the purpose of relocation or for access to and/or construction of a project.
    • Bio-retention infrastructure designed to increase flood attenuation and reduce the impacts of drought.
  • The Drought and Flood Protection Program is expected to launch later this year.
  • Disaster Recovery Programs in Alberta have paid out over $1.7 billion to cover uninsured losses associated with flooding since 2010. There has also been over $5 billion in insured losses.

Related information