Catchment News

World Water Day – Minister Noonan welcomes €1.2m for water quality projects nationwide

Today, on World Water Day, the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), working on behalf of Ireland’s 31 local authorities to protect and restore good water quality, is awarding funding to 155 projects in 26 counties under the ‘Community Water Development Fund Open Call 2024’.

Under the fund local communities and groups were invited to apply for financial assistance to support the delivery of projects and initiatives to enhance local water bodies and benefit water quality and biodiversity.

Since 2018, LAWPRO has made over €2.7m available through this funding scheme to local communities and groups, assisting in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive through Ireland’s River Basin Management Plan. Types of projects approved for funding under this year’s open call include:

  • River and habitat enhancement work, such as planting of native tree species and hedgerows, pollinator friendly planting, river-bank stabilisation, fencing and installation of riparian buffer zones near water bodies (areas free of chemical and organic fertilisers, cultivation and spraying).
  • Preparation of reports: feasibility studies, habitat management plans, ecological surveys, and hydromorphology studies.
  • Awareness raising initiatives such as citizen science workshops, biodiversity information boards, outdoor classrooms, river clean-ups, rainwater harvesting, and wetlands.

In addition, LAWPRO is rolling out a new funding stream the ‘Catchment Support Fund’. This funding will build the capacity of Community Groups to grow and develop in support of the delivery of the River Basin Management Plan.

“Today is World Water Day and I’m delighted to announce €1.2m for 155 projects nationwide to improve water quality. Under the Community Water Development Fund, grants totalling €702,605 will fund the grassroots work of local communities and voluntary groups to raise awareness of our rivers, lakes and streams and the biodiversity they support. A further €500,000 under the new LAWPRO Catchment Support Fund, to be rolled out by LAWPRO, will help NGOs working on water quality to develop and strengthen the skills, processes, and resources they need to grow. Each and every project that these funds support will play a part in achieving our collective goal of improving water quality.”

Minister of State with responsibility for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD

Funding applications details for the ‘LAWPRO Catchment Support Fund’ will be available from from Wednesday the 27 March 2024 and the fund closes for applications on Tuesday, 16 April 2024.

“We are delighted to fund local community driven projects that will go towards improving water bodies. LAWPRO was set up to coordinate and support efforts to achieve good water quality and these types of projects are at the heart of what we do. Community engagement is fundamental in dealing with local issues and the fund empowers groups to take action to benefit their local water bodies and the surrounding environment. Providing financial support to community groups to develop and grow is an important next step in achieving water quality.”

Director of Services for LAWPRO, Anthony Coleman

Learn more:

Full details of grants awarded and the application process for the new Catchment Support Fund are available online at and

For more information on the work of LAWPRO visit:

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.