Community Water Development Fund grants for 2021 issued at the end of April. The fund was introduced four years ago to support communities and groups deliver projects that enhance the quality of local streams, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas.
The Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage provides the funding which is administered by the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO). There is growing interest in the fund, which is clear by the numbers of applications received this year by LAWPRO.
“I am delighted that this scheme, funded by my Department, is so highly sought after. We need to protect our rivers, lakes, and groundwater and this scheme, which is a great example of community engagement, is just one way in which we can do that. I plan to launch a new revised and strengthened third-cycle River Basin Management Plan in 2022, to protect Ireland’s water quality, and to ensure that we have a well-protected environment and vibrant communities for future generations“
– Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD
As in previous years, applications for funding for 2021 exceeded the €380,000 total available, with 195 applications seeking €1,900,000 in grants. While the standard of applications was high, not all applications were awarded grants.
Types of projects approved for funding include:
- Awareness raising initiatives such as river clean ups, biodiversity information boards, citizen science workshops, outdoor classrooms, rainwater harvesting, and enhancement of wetlands
- Preparation of local plans such as feasibility studies, habitat management plans, ecological surveys, and biodiversity action plans
- River and habitat enhancement works such as planting of native species and hedgerow, pollinator friendly planting, river-bank stabilisation, fencing and riparian buffer zones
The Local Authority Waters Programme works with all 31 local authorities, relevant State agencies, stakeholders and communities with a shared goal of meeting the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive to have all natural waters at a good standard by 2027. This scheme harnesses community involvement which is borne out in the successful projects such as river clean ups and biodiversity information forums. I would like to congratulate all the successful projects.
– Minister of State Malcolm Noonan TD