Much like forests, streams and wildlife, stormwater is a natural part of our environment. Proper stormwater management is necessary to control erosion, flooding and water quality, and to protect our watercourses.


On this page:

1. What is stormwater?

2. Stormwater management funding

3. Investing in stormwater

4. Rates and credits

5. Market Incentive Program

6. Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF)


What is stormwater?

Stormwater run-off is water that flows across the land and over hard surfaces before it’s routed into drainage systems. It then goes to our natural areas such as creeks, lakes and wetlands.

We are responsible for managing all aspects of stormwater. Stormwater infrastructure includes:

  • roadways and ditches
  • storm sewers, storm sewer manholes and catch basins
  • stormwater management ponds
  • other various facilities

We are held accountable to regulatory agencies such as the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Grand River Conservation Authority, etc.

We do not maintain facilities that are located on private property or that fall under other governmental jurisdictions.


Stormwater management funding

The City of Kitchener transferred stormwater management funding from property taxes to a user-fee program in 2011. A stormwater user-fee represents a more dedicated, transparent and sustainable funding option than charging more for property taxes. Rates are assessed based on how much stormwater run-off the property contributes, rather than on property value.

By transferring stormwater management to a user-fee model, the funds collected are guaranteed to be used for stormwater management.


Investing in stormwater

By investing your rates into stormwater infrastructure, we are able to:

  • replace ageing stormwater infrastructure
  • keep pollutants out of stormwater systems
  • prevent flooding and pollution from reaching our creeks and streams
  • reach targets of Ontario’s Water Opportunities Act

Find more information on stormwater management projects in Kitchener.


Rates and credits

Learn more about our stormwater rates and our stormwater credits.


Market Incentive Program

The City of Kitchener is developing a Market Incentive Program to support private property owners in incorporating low-impact development stormwater features onto their property to improve resiliency to flooding. Find out more about the Market Incentive Program.


Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund

From 2018 to 2028, the City of Kitchener is receiving $49.99 million in funding from the federal government for the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF).

This partnership will help enhance the City of Kitchener’s ability to invest in important stormwater management initiatives that will:

  • help to mitigate the severity of local flooding
  • help to protect the environment, homes and businesses
  • help to maintain drinking water quality

Why DMAF is important

The City of Kitchener’s Corporate Climate Action Plan is a commitment to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

75% of urban areas in the city lack adequate stormwater management that helps to protect against flooding. Recent flooding events at the Walter Bean Trail and Kiwanis Park highlight the need for action. Now more than ever, our community needs to adapt to frequent and intensifying weather events caused by climate change.

This funding will implement important stormwater management initiatives that will help to mitigate the severity of local flooding that impacts drinking water quality, the environment, personal and business income and municipal infrastructure and services.

Where funding will go

Funding will help advance work for the following project elements:

Water Improvement Program

These projects make up the largest component of the overall DMAF project, including about 50% of the total projects.

Goal: incorporate low impact development (LID)/green infrastructure techniques at the same time as primary road reconstruction and replacement of outdated stormwater infrastructure.

Implementation: 2020 to 2027


Creek Erosion

These projects have been selected after assessing more than 80 km of watercourses and considering factors such as:

  • the risks to the environment
  • public health and safety
  • the likelihood for further erosion to degrade critical infrastructure

Goal: address the highest priority creek erosion sites identified through the Integrated Stormwater Management Master Plan.

Implementation: 2020 to 2027


New Stormwater Management Facility Network Expansion

These projects will develop new stormwater management facilities in identified areas of the city.

Goal: address the needs of existing built-up municipal areas that currently do not have any stormwater controls.

Implementation: 2023 to 2027


Bridgeport Dyke

In partnership with the Grand River Conservation Authority, this work will upgrade and repair the existing Bridgeport Dyke which is approximately 40 years old.

Goal: significantly upgrade and repair the existing dyke to address the impacts of major flood events along the Grand River and to bring the infrastructure up to current safety and operational standards.

Implementation: 2022 to 2024


Walter Bean Trail

This project element will help repair and connect aspects of the Walter Bean Trail that are currently not passable following flood and ice impacts.

Goal: address issues associated with regular flooding and damages which damage a popular section of the trail along the Grand River.

Implementation: 2022 to 2024


Stream Naturalization

This project element will proceed through a full Environmental Assessment and include natural channel design; a method of restoring a stream by engineering changes to mimic natural conditions.

Goal: removal of existing infrastructure from the floodway in areas with concrete lined channels, followed by natural channel design to restore the system to a functional floodplain.

Implementation: 2023 to 2027


Return on investment

For every dollar spent by Kitchener rate payers through the stormwater rate on their water bill, our community is projected to receive a return of $18 in prevented damage costs.

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This page will be updated in greater detail throughout the DMAF project and will include additional details as information becomes available.

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