$10K grants to turn lifesavers into water savers

They have saved thousands of lives since their creation more than a century ago but now Australia's surf lifesaving clubs are being given thousands of dollars to save water.

Clubs can apply for government grants of up to AU$10,000 each to spend on water saving and efficiency devices on their premises.

Rainwater harvesting tanks, water-saving taps and toilets, and showers with a three-star rating under the country’s Water Efficiency Labelling Standards Scheme are among the improvements that could win funding.

The grants are part of government’s AU$250m National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative and follow a pre-election pledge to help the clubs reduce their water use.

Announcing the cash, Water Minister Penny Wong said: “Surf lifesaving clubs are iconic features along Australia’s coastline and play a role in the summer holidays of thousands of Australians.”

She added: “Community groups such as Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) have an important role to play in improving water efficiency and adapting to climate change.”

SLSA’s general manager Michael Hornby said the grants would help the organisation meet some of the aims of its Ecosurf initiative.

“Surf Life Saving has recognised that we have the potential to implement practical ways in which we can have a positive impact on the environment,” he said.

“We have also commissioned a clean energy feasibility study that will review the current energy consumption and energy costs of a sample of SLSA’s 306 clubs representing different states, climate zones, membership and building sizes.”

Ministers hope that the measures will also inspire other beachgoers to cut their water use at home and at work.

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie