South Water Water is taking new applications for its successful Water-Saving Community Fund to help support local projects with water-saving initiatives.
Launched last year as a first of its kind for the water company, the £75,000-a-year Fund is designed to support community groups and registered non-profit organisations within South West Water’s service area who can provide a benefit to the community by saving tap water and demonstrating a reduction in water use.
Last year, South West Water funded 22 projects which contributed to a combined estimated yearly saving of 59 million litres of water.
Jo Ecroyd, South West Water’s Customer Service Director, said: “During the summer period demand for water rockets and at peak times we can produce an extra 50 million litres a day – that’s the equivalent of two cities the size of Exeter being added to the network.
“That’s why we’re thrilled to be reopening applications for this year’s Water-Saving Community Fund to support projects – big and small.”
One project that has already benefitted from the Fund is Devon Wildlife Trust’s Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve, which is home to a tree nursery that distributes around 7,500 trees each year to help re-establish certain species’ populations across Devon.
The Reserve applied for funding for a 10,000-litre tank to collect rainwater from its workshop roof via the guttering to pump up to the nursery.
Rosie Cotgreave, Devon Wildlife Trust project lead for Saving Devon Treescapes, said “We’re really grateful to South West Water for this funding, which has allowed us to harvest rainwater. By watering our tree saplings with recycled water collected in the wetter months, we’re able to be more sustainable when the sun comes out.”
Caroline, Devon Wildlife Trust Conservation Trainee, said: “We’re immensely grateful to South West Water for its generous support of this vital work. After we’d installed our new tank we had a night of really heavy rain, which filled the tank by about one-third. It takes about four days of rain to completely fill the tank giving us 10,000 litres of rainwater which otherwise would have come from South West Water’s network.”
Community groups can apply for up to £1,000 in funding while registered non-profit organisations can apply for funding up to £30,000, with applications being reviewed by a dedicated judging panel of independent water industry experts.