Have you got a big idea to help save tap water in your local community?

We’re looking for projects - big and small - whether it’s rainwater harvesting loos, drought tolerant gardens, water butts in your community allotments, educational displays in your school, or harnessing new technology to educate people about water use.


Funding criteria

We are encouraging new and innovative ideas to reduce water use.

Projects must meet two key requirements:

  1. Water efficiency – the project must save tap water and be able to demonstrate a reduction in water use (litres saved as a result of the project)
  2. Benefiting the community – the project must be located within our service area and demonstrate a benefit to the community we serve


Funding available

The amount in the Fund every year is £75,000. We will fund projects up to £30,000.

£0 - £1,000

For this level of funding projects can be submitted by local community groups.

£1,000 - £10,000

For this level of funding projects must meet the funding criteria outlined above and be a registered organisation.

£10,000 - £30,000 

For this level of funding projects must meet the funding criteria, be a registered organisation and demonstrate an innovative approach to water efficiency, and/or significantly benefit the community.


Once the amount of funding available in the Fund is awarded we'll not be able to consider any further applications within the same year. South West Water reserves the right to stop the Fund at any point. We will update our website to make it clear when the cap is reached, or if the Fund is stopped.

Who can apply


The project must be located within our service area, and funding is available to non-profit organisations only.

Organisations eligible for funding for over £1,000:

  • School, college or academy
  • Voluntary or community organisation
  • Registered charity
  • Constituted group or club
  • Not-for-profit company or Community Interest Company

Funding under £1,000 is available for local community groups such as; cricket club, allotment group, scout group, garden club etc.

To find out if your organisation, and community, is in our service area, click here.



What we can fund


  • Equipment hire and purchase
  • Building materials
  • Skills and training
  • Employee salaries for time dedicated to working directly on the project
  • Professional fees i.e builders, groundworkers or an interpretation design agency



What we can't fund


  • Applications submitted from a person aged under 18 years old
  • Commercial businesses that make a profit (e.g. limited company, sole trader)
  • Individuals
  • Organisations and projects based outside of our service area
  • Projects where we are not the majority funder and will require further funding to complete
  • Retrospective costs – we will only fund new projects
  • Projects with a political or religious purpose*
  • Projects that have been unsuccessful with their application in the same financial year

*We can fund religious organisations if their project benefits the wider community and doesn’t include religious content.



Application process


Applications can be submitted all year round, we will review all applications and award funding to successful projects every quarter.

For all proposals we will carry out:

  • Eligibility checks
  • Financial/due diligence checks
  • Assess the funding criteria have been met


Following initial checks our internal team will review applications from community organisations for smaller projects, under £1,000. Our internal team will approve or reject funding for these projects on a monthly basis. Applications for funding above £1,000 will go to our judging panel for a final decision.


The judging panel will meet will every quarter, our judges are a experts from across the water industry.


All applications will need to agree to our privacy policy and grant agreement to be eligible for funding. Applications and personal data will be deleted after 12 months in order to track all successful or unsuccessful submissions in the financial year.

If your project is successful



If your project has been successful we'll send a letter to let you know, and we’ll send our Community Fund Application Agreement for you to sign. You’ll need to sign and return the Agreement within fourteen days. In the Agreement we'll outline the total Grant awarded and when you’ll receive it. We do not have an appeal process for unsuccessful applications, and we don’t accept resubmissions within the same year.


We would like you to keep us up to date with the progress of the project. Once the project is completed you will need to provide a report to us. The report will help us track the project’s success and assess if it has met the funding criteria.