The NFGWS has been granted €100,000 of funding from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) for the installation of drinking water refill stations on 16 group water schemes around Ireland. ‘Strategically located drinking water refill stations provides greater public access to water and stations provide information on the source catchment, the Group Water Scheme and other sustainable messaging. Therefore, they fulfil a key aspect of the recast Drinking Water Directive and help to reduce the prevalence of single-use plastics’ states the Federation’s senior development co-ordinator Joe Gallagher.
Providing drinking water fountains is an initiative included in the Programme for Government (2022). This new project follows a successful pilot initiative, that installed refill stations in four Group Water Schemes (GWS) in late 2022. The pilot refill stations were very positively received by GWS and local communities.
An interested GWS must identify a suitable location for the unit that is safe and easy to access by the public and ensures maximum visibility within the community. The scheme must have a primary school on its supply network and be happy to provide reusable water bottles and copies of the NFGWS All About Water curriculum (for 4th-6th class) students.
GWSs must also be fully compliant with the terms and conditions of the annual operational subsidy and have a dedicated point of contact available to assist with the execution of the project. Interested GWS members are encouraged to contact their local NFGWS development officer to find out more about the project.
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