Hunter Water announce community funding

HUNTER Water has announced the eighteen recipients of its 2024 ‘Love Water’ Grants program, awarding over $125,000 for the program’s fifth year.

The announcement follows a significant number of applications in various areas, from schools and pre-schools to community groups and organisations. 

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The one-off grants, valued at up to $10,000, primarily support water conservation and efficiency initiatives and projects with an education, environmental, or sustainability focus.

Minister for Water, Housing, and Homelessness Rose Jackson commended the Lower Hunter community for its inventive water-saving initiatives.

“The overwhelming response of 71 applications underscores the local community’s dedication to finding innovative solutions to preserve our most precious resource.

“In light of the current economic environment, supporting our community is more vital than ever.

“The array of projects, from infrastructure upgrades to community garden initiatives, all contribute to water conservation efforts and will significantly benefit the residents of the Lower Hunter region,” Minister Jackson added.

Survivors R Us, a non-profit organisation that raises awareness of family and domestic violence while working to minimise the effects of abuse, homelessness, and unemployment, is one of this year’s grant recipients.

The organisation will use the funding to make water-efficient upgrades to its bathroom amenities, restoring the dignity of those using the service, while also improving the organisation’s overall water usage.

Ann-Maria Martin, who founded the organisation in 2018, is thrilled and grateful to receive a Love Water Grant. 

“We’ve worked with Hunter Water previously at some of our events, and we are excited to continue our partnership.

“It’s so important that the people who visit us feel safe and welcome.

“By making these upgrades to our bathroom facilities, we will be taking steps to provide dignity and comfort to our community. 

“Thanks to the funding, we will be able to install water-efficient appliances that can help us not only save water but also save on our water bill.

“We are so grateful and know that the Love Water Grant will make a real difference to the people we support,” Ms Martin said. 

Hunter Water Managing Director Darren Cleary said the Survivors R Us project captured what the Love Water Grants program is all about.

“Supporting our community is at the heart of Hunter Water, and the Survivors R Us initiative promises significant water savings and enhanced facility functionality, fostering positive community outcomes.

“Well done to all of the successful recipients and thank you to all of the applicants.

“We’re proud to support our community as we work together to ensure a sustainable and resilient water future,” Mr Cleary said. 

Other Port Stephens projects include $4367 for Fingal Beach Surf Lifesaving Club to upgrade shower heads, taps and dishwasher, and $10,000 to Riding For the Disabled (RDA) Raymond Terrace and Lower Hunter, in order to repair the stormwater system, such as downpipes.

Nick Angelos, Fingal Beach Surf Lifesaving Club Grants Coordinator and volunteer said, “The generosity of Hunter Water means we can offer better facilities to our members, competitors and guests from across the Port Stephens, the Hunter region and State.

“The funds will improve our club change rooms, with new water-saving tapware and provide a dishwasher in our club’s kitchen, enabling us to host social functions for our guests, while contributing to the sustainability of our environment and the Club’s future.”

For further details on the Love Water Grants program, visit

By Simon EKINS

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