Rainwater Management Plan

A study of all stormwater-related infrastructure and natural assets.

The Rainwater Management Financial Plan (RWMP) is a long-term plan to improve resiliency to climate change and protect our stormwater infrastructure and natural assets. 

This includes developing a financing plan and exploring funding alternatives to create resiliency in an equitable and cost-efficient manner. 

Over the years, the town has completed many studies to assess how to improve stormwater infrastructure and adapt and become more resilient. 

The multi-phase RWMP builds on completed work to provide an integrated approach to planning and implementing stormwater-related infrastructure into the future. The plan will prioritize recommendations from previous studies to deliver a long-term plan for infrastructure renewal and improvement needs.  

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities provides an overview of why municipalities need to consider climate risk and adopt long-term asset management plans. It also explains how municipalities need to prioritize and evaluate risk to get the best value for taxpayers’ dollars.

Importance of stormwater management

Stormwater is water that comes from rain and melted snow that flows over land and into storm drains, ditches, creeks, and lakes.  

Stormwater management is how we control the quantity and quality of runoff that results from rainfall and snowmelt. This is crucial in protecting public safety, reducing flood risks, controlling erosion, and maintaining water quality in local natural waterways.  

As part of the stormwater management program, the town maintains a variety of stormwater infrastructure and natural assets. This includes storm sewers, catch basins, and ditches as well as overland flow on roads, creeks, stormwater management ponds, and shoreline embankments. 

Understanding Oakville’s stormwater system

Financial planning needs

The town’s recent RWMP update estimated that it will cost $640 million to care for the town’s storm sewer pipes, culverts, creeks, shorelines, ponds, ditches and harbours over the next 30 years. Aging infrastructure and the impact of climate change drive the need for improvements. 

The town needs funds to support ongoing renewal and rehabilitation work and improvements to help adapt to climate change over the next 30 years, including:

  • $34.1 million to assess, repair and renew the storm sewer system
  • $69.2 million to monitor and rehabilitate creek channels to control erosion
  • $25.8 million to monitor and rehabilitate shorelines 
  • $34.9 million to clean out sediment from the town’s 67 stormwater management ponds
  • $293 million for upgrades to the stormwater network in 42 areas to increase protection for about 5,000 Oakville properties
  • $29.6 million to implement infrastructure upgrades to protect flood plain areas alongside various creeks
  • $34.7 million for drainage improvements in south Oakville neighbourhoods
  • $23.6 million for improvements to Oakville and Bronte harbour shoreline

More information on the town’s strategy for addressing this funding shortfall is available on the Stormwater Fee Feasibility Study page.

The various studies and infrastructure assessments that feed into the Rainwater Management Plan with recommendations to be prioritized across the network are listed below.  

Related studies

A study focused on areas of the town that were developed prior to 1980. It identifies long-term improvements of the town’s stormwater management system. 

Work to date includes assessment of the condition of the existing stormwater system and collection of background data, as well as performance assessment of the existing stormwater system to identify opportunities to decrease flood risk in more intense storm events. 

The third phase is underway as part of the RWM Strategy to develop and assess funding strategies to implement the plan.   

Go to the Stormwater Master Plan page

These studies evaluate the options to mitigate flooding from extreme rain or melting snow in streams, rivers and creeks when they exceed the capacity of their natural or constructed channels to better accommodate waterflow and prevent flooding. 

Areas studied include: Fourteen Mile and McCraney Creek systems, Joshua’s Creek, Lower Morrison and Wedgwood Creek systems, Munn’s Creek and Sheldon Creek. Recommendations range from emergency preparedness and minor improvements to significant infrastructure upgrades. 

The outcomes of these studies help determine the long-term hierarchy of needs of the RWM Strategy.

Go to the Environmental Projects & Studies page

This flood impact study and assessment of infrastructure in Oakville Harbour and Bronte Inner Harbour examined the current condition of infrastructure and identified improvements to reduce the potential for flooding at higher lake levels. 

Requirements also feed into the long-term hierarchy of needs of the RWM Strategy. 

Through the town’s asset management planning, condition assessments are regularly completed on various stormwater-related assets to determine what life-cycle renewal and rehabilitation works are required.  

Some of this infrastructure is approaching end of life and could potentially require significant investment in the future. 

Maintaining our existing infrastructure in a good state is essential in ensuring the stormwater network functions properly.