14 February 2024

Love flows this Valentine's Day with Hunter Water's Love Water Grants now open

Hunter Water is making a splash this Valentine's Day, pouring over $120,000 into the community through its Love Water Grants program. For over 30 years, Hunter Water has supported the community with water conservation and environmental and social awareness initiatives. In the last seven years, Love Water Grants has become the organisation's flagship program, supporting over 70 community groups.

Hunter Water Managing Director Darren Cleary said the grants program was open to all Lower Hunter community groups, small businesses and organisations.

"We know cost-of-living pressures impact many people in our community. As a major service provider in the region, we have a vital role to play in supporting the community through these challenging times.

"Our Love Water Grants program can assist and provide added financial support where it's needed most," said Mr Cleary.

Organisations are encouraged to apply for a one-off grant of up to $10,000 to support initiatives that promote water conservation and sustainability and enhance liveability and innovation in our community.

"We're hoping to see innovative applications that showcase different ideas on how to achieve water conservation goals. Whether that’s through community garden projects, irrigation systems or water-efficient appliances.

"We know how much our community loves and values water. A Love Water Grant project is an opportunity to conserve our most precious resource for future generations," said Mr Cleary.

Fig Tree Community Association – a local community garden in Wickham, Newcastle, received close to $6000 last year for its sustainability project. Through grant funding, the garden has facilitated workshops with residents to learn the ancient irrigation practice of making a clay olla.

Fig Tree Association Community Garden Coordinator - Adrian Garner
Fig Tree Association Community Garden Coordinator - Adrian Garner

For Community Garden Coordinator Adrian Garner, the workshops were an opportunity for community members to connect and educate on water conservation techniques, permaculture water design, biodiversity, climatic changes, and the impact this has on community.

"The Love Water grant enabled the development of our water workshops, which have introduced new people to the garden space and kicked off a broad discussion about where our water comes from and how we're going to respond to change.

"When spending time in the garden, we have time to consider how our changing climate impacts plants and animals. We applied for the Love Water Grant so that we could address our garden's resilience to these changes while also bringing awareness to our community.

"I would encourage any organisations thinking about applying to do so. It's hard to think of a more important thing in our lives than water," Mr Garner said.

Applications are open until midnight, Thursday, 14 March. Interested applicants are encouraged to head to http://www.hunterwater.com.au/grants for more information or to apply.