Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

Project activities funded or partly funded under the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program

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Infrastructure projects in the Murray-Darling Basin

State Priority Projects

For more information see: State Priority Projects

On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program

For more information see: On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program

Victorian Farm Modernisation Project

The Commonwealth is providing up to $100 million for the Victorian Farm Modernisation Project to support on-farm irrigation infrastructure upgrades on approximately 450 farms in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District. At least 55% of the water savings generated by the project will be transferred to the Commonwealth for environmental use while the remaining 45% will be retained by irrigators. The project will be aligned with the Goulburn-Murray Water Connections Project which is supporting a major modernisation of the irrigation system within the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District.

Irrigator Led Group Proposals

For more information see: Irrigator Led Group Proposals

Menindee Lakes Project

For more information see: Menindee Lakes Project

Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program

Funding of $100 million has been provided to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to deliver a competitive community grants program to assist communities to meet the challenge of living in a water-constrained environment and strengthen their economic base to support the long-term viability of our rivers and regions.


Water Purchase in the Murray-Darling Basin

Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin


Supply Measures in the Murray-Darling Basin

Environmental Works and Measures Feasibility Program


Other projects

Supporting more efficient irrigation in Tasmania

Environmental Water Knowledge and Research Project

For more information see:

Upgrade of meter test facilities for non-urban water metering

Funding of up to $6.9 million has been provided to build meter test facilities that will meet the specifications required under the National Framework for Non-urban Water Metering.


Completed projects

Hume Dam Remedial Works

Funding of up to $10 million has been contributed to remedial works on the Hume Dam southern training wall. The funding has been appropriated to the MDBA over three years.

Irrigation Hotspots Assessment Program

For more information see: Irrigation Hotspots Assessment Program

Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance

Lithgow-Clarence Colliery Water Transfer project

The Australian Government provided funding of $4 million to upgrade the Clarence Water Transfer System, allowing the increased use of excess water from Clarence Colliery. The project will improve the security of Lithgow's water supply by supplementing potable water supplies and offsetting water that would ordinarily be drawn from Oberon Dam.

National Hydrological Modelling Platform

For more information see: National Hydrological Modelling Platform

National Water Market System

For more information see: National Water Market System

Orange Emergency Pipeline Project

Funding of $20 million was committed to the NSW Government in March 2011 towards Orange City Council's water security project involving construction of a 39 kilometre pipeline from the Macquarie River to the Suma Park Dam at Orange. The pipeline provides Orange with a secure water supply for the future by connecting the city's existing water infrastructure to the Macquarie River. The NSW Government co-contributed $18.2 million towards the project and the Orange City Council $8.8million.

The project has been completed and was opened on 2 July 2015.

Macquarie River to Orange Pipeline Project - Final Report (PDF - 5.06 MB)

Small Block Irrigators Exit grants

For more information see: Small Block Irrigators Exit grants

Strengthening Basin Communities

For more information see: Strengthening Basin Communities

Water for Rivers

The Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program provided over $6 million to Water for Rivers for infrastructure that helps deliver additional environmental flows for the Snowy River.

Western Australia Sustainable Yields study

Funding of $5.2 million was provided to undertake a study to investigate estimated changes to future water yields having regard to climate change and future development. This study is part of the CSIRO Sustainable Yields Projects and covered 39,043 square kilometres of surface water catchment and 37,186 square kilometres of groundwater management areas from Geraldton to Albany. The project is complete.

Wimmera Mallee pipeline project

The Wimmera Mallee pipeline project involved replacing 17,500km of open water channels with 8,800km of pipeline. The project was co-funded across a number of Commonwealth water programs and the Victorian Government including $99 million from the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program. Construction of the pipeline is complete.