06/09/2014 07:43 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:22 EDT

Alberta Flood Program Designed To Protect Municipalities

John Gibson via Getty Images
CANMORE, CANADA - JUNE 21: The houses along the east side of Cougar Creek in front of Three Sisters Mountain suffer damage on June 21, 2013 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads, prompting the evacuation of thousands. (Photo by John Gibson/Getty Images)

CALGARY - Alberta has introduced a new grant program to help municipalities better protect their residents, property, and infrastructure from the effects of floods or droughts.

Municipalities, First Nations, and Metis settlements can apply for funds from the Alberta Community Resilience Program for projects that protect critical municipal infrastructure from flooding and drought.

The cost-share program will direct $325 million to municipalities over the next three years for projects such as berms, dikes, and riverbank stabilization.

Eligible projects may either protect municipal infrastructure such as public buildings, roads, or wastewater systems, enhance public safety, or improve evacuation times.

The grants will cover 90 per cent of project costs up to $3 million and 70 per cent of costs in excess of $3 million.

Municipalities have until Sept. 30 to apply for the first round of funding.

"We are committed to improving Alberta's resilience when faced with floods and drought by providing the resources needed to protect our vulnerable communities," Environment Minister Robin Campbell said in a news release.

"Our aim is to put effective mitigation solutions in place while respecting taxpayers' dollars."

The program is part of the Alberta government's $600 million commitment announced April 29 at Alberta's Watershed Management Symposium to fund high-priority flood mitigation projects to improve the province's flood resiliency.