National Water Infrastructure Development Fund

Applications are open for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from state and territory governments under the capital component of the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

Applications will be accepted continuously until all funds are committed.

Applications received by 3pm AEDT 1 April 2019 are being assessed.

Future assessment dates will be notified via this webpage subject to funding remaining available.

The $1.3 billion 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 underpin regional economic growth, including irrigated agriculture and industry.

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

Structure of the fund

The fund has two parts:

  • A feasibility component
  • A capital component

Capital Component

The capital component of the fund is available to state and territory governments to provide co-funding contributions to support the construction of water infrastructure projects that will provide secure and affordable water to primary producers in rural and regional areas to underpin growth in regional economies and communities.

A list of projects that have received co-funding contributions under the capital component of the fund, including the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund Drought Round, is available on the water infrastructure projects webpage.

Capital Funding Expressions of Interest

Applications are open for Expressions of Interest from state and territory governments for capital co-funding to construct water infrastructure.

Key Dates

Applications will be accepted continuously until all funds are committed.

No date has been set for the next assessment process. Applications received by 1 April 2019 are currently being assessed.

Applications received after this date will be assessed in future funding rounds should funding remain available.

The department may alter dates and assessment timeframes at its discretion. State and territory governments will be advised via email of any changes or additions to Assessment Dates

Eligibility

Only state and territory governments can apply for funding under the fund.

Funding will be provided for the construction of permanent water infrastructure projects. Only water infrastructure projects ready to progress to construction will be considered.

In submitting an EOI for funding, state and territory governments must commit to implementation of National Water Initiative (NWI) consistent water management in the catchment where the infrastructure is proposed. Guidance notes for National Water Initiative requirements are available.

Further eligibility and assessment criteria are contained in the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund—Capital Component Guidelines (available below).

How to Apply

  • Read the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund—Capital Component Guidelines DOC: 127 KB PDF: 310 KB.
  • State/Territory Government to complete an application form DOC: 104 KB.
  • State/Territory Government to submit an EOI and a completed application form.
    • If the EOI, including attachments, is under 20 MB please submit via email to Water Infrastructure.
    • If the EOI, including attachments, is over 20 MB please contact the Department via email to Water Infrastructure to discuss how to submit your proposal.

Please check this webpage regularly for updates. The department will publish frequently asked questions and answers about this process to ensure all potential applicants have access to the same information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for funding if my project has previously been awarded funding from the Fund?

A water infrastructure project that was previously awarded funding under the capital component of the Fund cannot apply for additional capital funding for the same construction activities. In this instance, check Yes for Question 7 in Section D of the form Expression of Interest – Capital Component – March 2019.

However, an application can be lodged where funding is sought for a new or different stage/s of a previously funded infrastructure project. The application should clearly describe the nature and costs of the new or different stage/s to distinguish it from the infrastructure previously funded from the capital component of the Fund. In this instance, check No for Question 7 in Section D of the form Expression of Interest – Capital Component – March 2019.

A water infrastructure project that was awarded funding from the feasibility component of the Fund is not precluded from applying for funding from the capital component. In this instance, and where no previous capital funding was awarded for the project, check No for Question 7 in Section D of the form Expression of Interest – Capital Component – March 2019.

Can local government or private organisations apply for funding?

No. Local government and private organisations are not eligible to apply directly to the fund. Only state and territory governments are eligible to apply for funding; however, state and territory governments may partner with local government and/or private organisations.

For information on other Australian Government funding programs that may be available to local government and/or private organisations, visit the Regional and community programs webpage.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

Examples of eligible water infrastructure include, but are not limited to,

  • dams, weirs, off-stream storages and water supply pipelines;
  • groundwater and managed aquifer recharge supply schemes; and
  • water treatment, including desalination, storage and reuse.

Further information about eligible and ineligible water infrastructure types is contained in the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund—Capital Component Guidelines (above).

Can I apply for funding for on-farm irrigation development?

No. On-farm water storage, supply and irrigation infrastructure is not eligible for funding through the fund.

For information on other Australian Government funding programs that may be available for both on-farm and off-farm water infrastructure, visit the Regional Investment Corporation.

Drought Round

Applications are closed for Expressions of Interest from state and territory governments for funding through the drought round under the fund.

For further information, please refer to the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund Drought Round webpage.

Feasibility Component

The feasibility component is available to state and territory governments to provide funding contributions to support feasibility studies to accelerate the detailed planning and business case development necessary to inform future water infrastructure investment decisions.

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.

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, over $460 million has been committed to water infrastructure feasibility studies and construction projects in northern Australia.

Included in this commitment is the announced Roper River Catchment Water Resource Assessment (NT) and the 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.

Background

The Australian Government is delivering on its over $3.3 billion commitment to build the water infrastructure of the 21st century through the $1.3 billion National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.

The fund was announced in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

The creation of these initiatives followed the release of the Water Infrastructure Options Paper PDF: xx 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.