Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting

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Status: The Rainwater Harvesting Rebate is now open and accepting applications for 2024.


This incentive program rebates up to $700 for a cistern that is rated for potable use and able to collect a minimum of 4,546 litres (1,000 imperial gallons) of rainwater. In addition, there is up to $300 available for other eligible collection system expenses such as transport piping, debris traps, filters and installation costs. Distribution components (beyond the tank) are not covered under the rebate. This makes a total of up to $1000 available per household for the purchase and installation of a rainwater harvesting system.

Who Can Apply

This rebate program is available to all residential landowners within the RDN, including electoral areas (A, B, C, E, F, G, H) and member municipalities (Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum Beach).


  • Each private property is eligible for one (1) rebate over the lifetime of the program. Only property owners are eligible to receive the rebate.
  • The rebate is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Once funds are exhausted, the program will be finished for this year.
  • Installation must include a cistern or cisterns that are rated for potable use (i.e. CSA approved) with a total rainwater storage capacity of 4,546 litres (1,000 imperial gallons) or more. Systems can be for potable or non-potable (i.e. garden) use.
  • A minimum roof collection area of 18.58 square meters (200 square feet).
  • All work, including purchasing of system components and cistern(s), must be completed between January 1 and December 16, 2024.

How To Apply

All documentation, forms, photos, and invoices, can be sent electronically to waterstewardship [at] rdn.bc.ca (waterstewardship[at]rdn[dot]bc[dot]ca) or by mail/in person to Drinking Water & Watershed Protection, Regional District of Nanaimo, 6300 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, B.C., V9T 6N2.

Step 1: Submit Pre-approval Application

  • Completed Pre-approval Application form, including a description of the system that is going to be installed.
  • Submit with pre-approval form "before" photos of the site showing catchment area and cistern location. Photos of the catchment area and location where cistern will be installed should have an indication of scale, such as a person or a meter stick, and a reference point so that one can see the "before" and "after" photos are the same property.


The RDN's TeamWaterSmart offers Rainwater Harvesting Workshops, visit www.teamwatersmart.ca for workshop dates. Registration is recommended; attendance is free.

Step 2: Completion of Qualifying Work

Pre-approved applicants will have $1000 set aside for them. Upon receiving written approval from the RDN, the applicant will have 90 days to complete the installation and submit their Claim Form to receive the rebate. Pre-approval expires 90 days after the confirmation letter is issued. Contact the RDN (waterstewardship [at] rdn.bc.ca (waterstewardship[at]rdn[dot]bc[dot]ca) or 250-390-6560) to request an extension.

Applicants can complete the installation or hire a rainwater harvesting professional to install. The completed system must meet the current best practices; click here for the RDN Rainwater Harvesting Best Practices Guidebook. The Claim Form highlights required system components in the Tank Installation and Safety Checklists.

Step 3: Submit Your Claim Form

The final document submission must occur within 90 days of the applicant's pre-approval and include:

  • ITEMIZED sales receipt(s) and/or invoice(s) marked PAID and dated the same calendar year in which you are applying.
  • Photo(s) of the system installed, clearly showing the following:
    • Added cisterns,
    • An appropriate collection area including downspout and routing to cistern,
    • Overflow diversion according to Tank Installation Checklist specifications,
    • Cleaning access, and
    • Backflow prevention (if connected to top-up source).
  • Completed Claim Form, fill in all three pages including the Tank Installation and Safety Checklists.
  • If the installation involves the alteration of indoor plumbing, the installation of a new potable water line, or the alteration of an existing potable water line a Building Permit is required. A copy of the Building Permit and Inspection Document from the relevant Building Inspection Department must be submitted.

Please allow up to 6 to 8 weeks for processing and payment.


Rainwater Harvesting Best Practices Guidebook
Rainwater Harvesting Best Practices Guidebook
Learn about the design and installation of Rainwater Harvesting Systems - download the guidebook for free! A limited number of hard copies are available from the RDN office and for loan with a library card at VI regional library branches.
DWWP Water Stewardship Rebate Map
New! Learn more about RDN Water Stewardship Rebates supported by the Drinking Water & Watershed Protection program with this interactive web map.

The vision of the RDN's Drinking Water & Watershed Protection program is for healthy, safe, and resilient water resources in the region. Learn more at dwwp.ca