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Responsible for the service ELY Centre

Subsidy for sustainable water management in agriculture and forestry

  • Service
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

The aim of the subsidy is to promote multi-objective water management in river basins, which will improve water status, strengthen adaptation to and preparedness for changing weather and water conditions, and preserve biodiversity.

Subsidies may be granted to projects that promote river basin planning, cooperation and implementation, retain water in the catchment area, promote adaptation to changing water conditions, reduce loading on water bodies and increase biodiversity.

The measures to be subsidised may be both regional cooperation projects and regional or local implementation projects.

Examples of projects that can be subsidised are:

  • General planning and implementation of measures for the sustainable management of water catchment areas or sub-catchment areas dominated by agriculture and forestry. Climate change adaptation must be considered in the planning.
  • Introduction and / or promotion of the use of nature-based and multi-purpose water management solutions such as two-stage ditches and other water-retaining solutions in ditches and catchments.
  • Development of co-operation between agricultural and forestry sectors to improve opportunities for the joint use of water protection structures. Piloting and developing operations models for sustainable water management, for example in the activities of drainage communities.
  • The project may include training, communication or the production of learning materials for designers, consultants or contractors (eg. need for drainage, drainage technology, selection and design of multi-purpose and nature-based water management structures).

The projects should aim at long-term effects on the ecological status of the water bodies. Therefore broader project entities and cooperation between several actors are desirable.

Subsidies are discretionary and are granted within the limits of the appropriations allocated by the Ministry of the Environment. The ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia acts as the state aid authority in granting and using the subsidies.

Do the following

The application period for subsidies is generally October-November each year. The ELY Centres issue a notification on the more detailed content and schedule of the subsidy application process usually in the autumn.

The subsidy is applied for primarily online (Subsidy application for water management in agriculture and forestry).

If you are unable to apply online, please use the application form instead. The form can be printed and filled in manually or saved on your computer and filled in electronically. Send the form as an attachment to the general online form, by email or by post to the registry office of the North Ostrobothnia ELY Centre's registry.

The application must be accompanied by a more detailed project plan, which includes a cost estimate, a financing plan and implementation schedule, and a plan for communication activities during the project. The application must be accompanied by a map of the project area, copies of the permits and consents required for the project measures, and an account of which permits and consents are to be obtained. The entity's signature rights must be verified if the applicant does not use the electronic account and authorization. For more detailed instructions, see the separate application instructions.

To whom and on what terms

The criteria for granting the subsidy are described in the Government Decree on Assistance for Projects Improving the Use and Status of Water and the Aquatic Environment (714/2015 and 810/2021).


Grants may be awarded to legal entities, such as registered associations, water bodies, associations, municipalities or associations of municipalities, educational establishments or companies. The grant cannot be awarded to individuals.

Grants may not be awarded to government agencies or institutions. However, public research institutes may be assisted in projects as co-implementers if their specific expertise is needed to achieve the project's objectives.

A grant may be awarded for a joint project between several implementers. In this case, the grant will be awarded only to the lead applicant, who will be responsible for the project on behalf of all implementing parties.

Amount and use of the subsidy

As a general rule, the subsidy will cover 50 % of the eligible costs. For projects that significantly contribute to water and marine management objectives in the target river basin, or more generally eg. by producing methods for large-scale use, the subsidy rate may be higher. When applying for a subsidy higher than 50 %, the applicant must clearly justify the higher share of the subsidy.

As a general rule, the projects to be assisted must be aimed at non-profit activities. If the subsidy is used for economic activities, the subsidy will be subject to EU state aid rules. Procurements that may be included in the assisted projects must comply with the Act on Public Contracts and Concessions.

The subsidy is paid against actual costs. When applying for payment, proof of the expenses incurred must be provided in accordance with the subsidy decision.

Evaluation of applications

The eligibility of applications will be assessed in particular on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Compilance with the objectives and theme of the call. The needs of the proposed measures have been identified in the plans and operational programs for management of water resources and marine environment.
  • Feasibility of the project (readiness to start, commitment of actors, certainty of other funding).
  • Partnerships between different actors (eg. co-operation in the project, utilization of previous co-operation networks).
  • Verifiability of project benefits and possibilities for broader application of the results elsewhere.

The service is free of charge.

Basic information

The service is provided byELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, Development and Administration centre for ELY Centres and TE Offices, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Other responsible organisationsELY Centre for Uusimaa, ELY Centre for Varsinais-Suomi, ELY Centre for Southeast Finland, ELY Centre for Satakunta, ELY Centre for North Karelia, ELY Centre for Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for North Savo, ELY Centre for Häme, ELY Centre for Central Finland, ELY Centre for Pirkanmaa, ELY Centre for South Savo, ELY Centre for Kainuu, ELY Centre for Lapland, Development and Administration centre for ELY Centres and TE Offices, ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for South Ostrobothnia
Responsible for the serviceCentre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: ELY Centre
Updated: 10/15/2021