Community grants

Annual grants for community projects

Each year we invite grassroots community groups from across Sydney, Blue Mountains and the Illawarra region to participate in our  Community Water Literacy Grants Program and send us proposals for water-related projects that will help the community. The program aligns with Our strategy blueprint 2020–2030 (2MB) and vision for the future. Our 2021 grant recipients have already been announced – but get your proposal ready for the next round of grants in mid-2022.

2021 grant recipients

Congratulations to the 6 recipients of our Community Grants Program 2021. They're using their $10,000 grants for projects that will improve water education in the community.

  • University of New South Wales and City of Canterbury Bankstown and Georges Riverkeeper: Culturally inclusive urban water design 
  • Western Sydney University: Building citizen science literacies for the Hawkesbury–Nepean River  
  • AUSMAP, Total Environment Centre Inc.: Creating Cooks River Caretakers – citizen science measuring microplastics 
  • Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust: Wild about Rivers – art installation  
  • Good for the Hood: 'Float It' secondary schools design challenge  
  • We are the mainstream: workshop program that includes an educational panel, photography and writing activities and a performance / visual exhibition that is guided by First Nations knowledge and principles on water sustainability and management.

Key activities and dates

This was the timeline for our 2021 community grants. Keep it in mind for when the next round opens up in mid-2022.



7–30 June 2021

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) open.

1–9 July 2021

Eligible projects shortlisted and asked to submit a full application.

12–30 July 2021

Full applications open.

2–20 August 2021

Applications assessed by a Sydney Water panel against selection criteria.

23–31 August 2021

Successful recipients announced and initial funds granted.

1 September 2021 – 31 March 2022

Remaining funds granted on a milestone basis. Project implemented and completed.

Eligibility for future grants

Want to know if you or your community organisation could be eligible for a Community Grant? Applicants must follow the Guidelines (150KB) and meet the Terms and conditions (157KB) to be eligible. You can also read our Frequently asked questions (218KB)If you can't find the answers you're looking for, email us at

Your privacy
By completing the application for our community grants, you understand that we will collect your business and personal information, to determine your potential eligibility for a grant. We'll store your information securely and destroy it when it's no longer needed.

Past Community Grant projects

Total Environment Centre – Ocean Action Pod project

The Ocean Action Pod project aims to engage adults and children with the growing problem of plastic pollution. 

In May 2021, The Total Environment Centre used their Sydney Water grant to run an Ocean Action Pod activation at the University of Technology / Ultimo TAFE Green Market Week event.

Over 2 days, they encouraged and empowered over 300 students to make responsible choices and choose tap water over bottled water, with the aim of reducing single-use plastic bottles impacting the environment.

Sydney Water attended the event alongside Ocean Action Pod to explain how plastic bottles and other litter impact our precious waterways and systems, and how our drinking water is treated and tested to ensure it remains some of the best drinking water in the world. 

Pledging to drink tap water with Ocean Action Pod.

Learning about the urban water cycle.

St Aloysius Primary School, Cronulla – STEM Enrichment Project

Year 5 and 6 students at St Aloysius Primary School in Cronulla are learning how to design and develop a digital system and solution to address the high salinity levels in the Sutherland Shire Water Recycling System caused by high tides.

The primary school has used its Sydney Water grant to purchase digital technology resources and coding resources to expand on and refine their design. Students have learnt how to code microbits to measure moisture and salinity levels in the system.

Recently, students met with industry experts from the Cronulla Woolooware Wastewater Re-use Plant and the Cronulla Golf Club to deepen their understanding of the wastewater and water recycling process.


'It's great to see schools working on STEM projects and having them come out to the plant. Who knows, we could be inspiring the next generation of Engineers and Scientists.' – Industry expert
'The best thing about this project is that we are learning how to solve real world problems using the design engineering process. Learning this at a young age means that we'll have the skills we need to solve bigger problems in the future.' – Student

Students learn how the Cronulla Woolooware re-use plant works.

Students explore the golf club where the recycled water is used.