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  • 045 980200
  • Head Office: Áras Chill Dara Devoy Park Naas Co Kildare W91 X77F


Local Authority Waters and Communites Office

What is LAWCO? (Local Authority Waters and Communities Office)

The Waters and Communities Office was set up in February 2016 to promote better management of our streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater for the benefit of present and future generations.  

It operates as a shared service on behalf of all Local Authorities and is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.  It is managed jointly by Kilkenny and Tipperary County Councils.  The office can be contacted by email: or phone: 0761 06 6230

Aoife McGrath is the Community Water Officer covering the Local Authority Areas of Meath and Kildare.   She can be contacted on 085 8083682 or

How can LAWCO help local communites?

The Waters and Communites Officers work closely with local communities, public bodies, sectoral interests, Public Participation Networks (PPNs), Local Development Companies and other stakeholders to promote collaboration in the management of our natural water environment.

LAWCO can provide technical assistance and support for local communities on water based initiatives, such as:

  • Invasive species removal and control
  • Riverbank improvement works/halting erosion
  • In stream works – stream crossings
  • Community engagement around water
  • Citizen science and monitoring of local rivers – Nature detectives
  • Restoration of wildlife habitats
  • “Solution to pollution” – advice on problems identified
  • Animal access to waters – advice on best practice
  • River heritage and walks signage and leaflets
  • And more.

Is there funding availabile?

The Local Authority Waters Programme have announced an open call for applications to a Community Water Development Fund 2019.  Closing date for receipt of applications is Tuesday 12th of February at 7pm.  Full details on  

The Community Water Development Fund aims to support communities in progressing water related projects and initiatives, delivering benefits locally whilst also helping to meet the objectives of the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland and the wider EU Water Framework Directive. This fund is open to all community and voluntary groups to assist in the protection and management of water quality, both locally and in the wider catchment. This can include the development of a catchment partnership or River/Lake Trust, and delivery of local projects to protect and improve water quality in a local waterbody. This fund will enable communities to get more involved in the management of their local water environment, delivering multiple benefits for present and future generations. The fund is administered by the Waters and Communities Office on behalf of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.