National Water Infrastructure Development Fund

$72 million Drought Round

Applications are open for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from state and territory governments for funding under the Drought Round.

Applications will close at 3pm AEDT on 11 December 2018.

For eligibility criteria and how to apply refer to the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund Drought Round webpage.

The $580 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (the fund) is implementing the Australian Government's commitment to build the water infrastructure of the 21st century. The fund is accelerating the detailed planning and construction of water infrastructure projects that will deliver new and affordable water, enhance water security and help stimulate regional economic development including through primary industries and new and expanded agriculture.

The fund is an initiative of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

Funding from the fund is only provided to state and territory governments through bilateral schedules in accordance with the Federal Financial Relations Act 2009. Specific project agreements are available on the Council on Financial Relations National Partnerships—Environment webpage.

Northern Australia

The White Paper on Developing Northern Australia identifies that conditions in northern Australia present challenges, especially a lack of water resource assessments at the catchment level, which pose a barrier to water infrastructure development. In contrast, southern Australia has an extensive range of scientific and technical research available, and generally has the necessary supporting infrastructure and functioning water markets in place.

In recognising northern Australia's unique circumstances, $230 million ($40 million feasibility and $190 million capital) has been committed to water infrastructure feasibility studies and projects in northern Australia.

Included in this commitment is the recently completed $15 million Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA), which investigated the potential of water and soil resources to support increased primary production in three priority northern catchments. More information is available on the CSIRO NAWRA showcase.

Structure of the Fund

The fund has two parts: a feasibility component and a capital component.

  • The $59.5 million feasibility component is providing funding to 39 feasibility studies across Australia to accelerate the detailed planning necessary to inform future water infrastructure investment decisions.an
  • The $520 million capital component is providing funding contributions to co-fund the construction of water infrastructure projects in partnership with the state and territory governments and their project partners.

Capital Component

Applications are open only for Expressions of Interest from state and territory governments for funding through the $72 million Drought Round under the fund. Please refer to the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund Drought Round webpage for information on project eligibility and how to apply.

Further information about the capital component of the fund and the projects that have received funding is available on the water infrastructure projects page.

Feasibility Component

Applications are closed for Expressions of Interest from state and territory governments for feasibility study funding through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

Further information about the feasibility component of the fund and the studies that have received funding is available on the feasibility studies page.

Background

The Australian Government is delivering on its $2.6 billion commitment to build the water infrastructure of the 21st century through the $580 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.

These initiatives followed the release of the Water Infrastructure Options Paper PDF: 1793 KB by the Water Infrastructure Ministerial Working Group. This group, and these initiatives, recognise that water regulation, planning and management is generally the responsibility of the state and territory governments but that the Australian Government can, through targeted funding, play a valuable role in supporting water infrastructure projects that:

  • Have strong state or territory government support.
  • Are in the national interest.
  • Deliver net economic and social benefits and broader public benefits.

Further Information

If you require additional information, please email Water Infrastructure.