Demonstration Sites Grants Program

The best solution to protecting our waterways is to manage water where it falls and to prevent stormwater washing pollutants like leaves, soil and litter down the drain.

On rural properties, if runoff is not managed it can cause soil and other nutrients to wash off blocks.

Many people in the region are already using innovative and cost-effective solutions to manage rainwater that falls on their block.

As part of the H2OK: Keeping our waterways healthy education program, funding is being provided to urban and rural residential owners in the ACT and region to implement innovative, best practice stormwater management practices on their block as demonstrations of best practice others can learn from.

More than 60 applications were submitted. Each application was thoroughly assessed, including site visits, before the final 15 projects were selected.

H2OK demonstration sites

Burra, NSW

Install improved stormwater management treatments on a predominantly natural bush rural residential block. The treatments will address overland flows and rainwater storage using swales, an infiltration rain garden and an additional rainwater tank.

Carwoola, NSW

Undertake erosion control and overland flow management on a newly established rural residential block which has also been recently affected by bushfires.

Charnwood, ACT

Install additional swales, water storage capacity, a rain garden, an enhanced composting system and wicked garden beds to transform an older suburban garden into a more productive water effective and catchment friendly garden.

Chisholm, ACT

Refurbishment of an established garden to reflect better management of water, including rehabilitation of an artificial creek, conversion of an existing nature strip to a more water friendly treatment and an upgrade of the existing irrigation system to better connect to new and existing rainwater storage.

Coombs, ACT

Constructing a water and catchment sensitive nature strip at a newly established residence, incorporating rain gardens and pervious paving elements.

Curtin, ACT

As part of redevelopment of the existing block to build two compact units, flo-cell units will be installed to support lawns fed by below ground water storage beneath the turf. The new gardens will be designed to reflect water and catchment friendly principles.

Flynn, ACT

This project will enhance the water holding and infiltration of a common use area to the front of a complex of townhouses, using swales and terracing.  A new planting scheme will be installed that complements the restructured bank. The nature strip will also be rehabilitated and planted to remove bare ground.

Hackett, ACT

Enhancement of an establishing water and catchment sensitive garden by additional rainwater capture and improved swale designs.

Hoskingstown, NSW

Restoration of an erosion gully by construction of three rock groins, complemented by a range of other fencing, off stream watering points and other elements to reduce erosion on the property.

Flynn, ACT

Continuing conversion of an older urban garden to be water and catchment friendly as well as supporting sustainable living. Treatments include use of swales, rain gardens, pervious paving and nature strip rejuvenation.

Uriarra, NSW

Restoration of eroding streambanks, including removal of weeds, fencing, encouragement of regeneration, new plantings and construction of new water sources to remove grazing pressure on the stream.

Wamboin, NSW

Continuing the conversion of an established rural residential block to be more water and catchment sensitive, using additional swales, a rainwater tank and keyline infiltration systems.

Waramanga, ACT

Continue to improve the capacity of an older urban residential block to manage stormwater by installation of extra rainwater storage, swales and a wicking garden bed. Composting of organic matter from the site will be enhanced by a compost tumbler and pervious paving will enhance water infiltration.

Watson, ACT

Disconnection of downpipes, improved rainwater storage capacity and construction of swales are proposed to improve the water and catchment friendly characteristics of this property.

Watson, ACT

Conversion of an established older urban garden to be water and catchment friendly, as well as supporting sustainable living. Treatments include the use of swales, dry creeks, enhanced rainwater storage and permeable paving.

Geographically spread across the ACT and region, the grant recipients will deliver projects such as:

Rural residential projects will also include:

  • property planning
  • fencing to manage grazing to preserve ground cover
  • erosion control
  • overland flow management
  • management of riparian zones.

The successful applicants will receive up to $3,000 for urban blocks and up to $7,500 for rural residential blocks.

The successful project sites will provide practical examples of how others can implement simple solutions for managing stormwater on their block.

Through a partnership with Open Gardens Canberra, people will be able to visit the sites to see first-hand how others are re-designing their gardens to make better use of water, minimise contaminated run-off and ensure only rain goes down the stormwater drain.

Successful applicants have 12 months to complete their projects before the sites join the Open Gardens Canberra program; in time for viewing in spring 2018. In addition to this, the H2OK program team will run ‘how to’ workshops at a number of the sites.

More information

For further information please call the H2OK: Keeping our waterways healthy team on 6207 5584 or email us at