This section provides historic information on completed programs and initiatives and their outcomes.
This program allowed certain farmers to apply to purchase water at a discounted rate to grow fodder and pasture.
Find out more about the Water for Fodder program
This project delivered water for the environment by upgrading irrigation infrastructure and promoting better water management practices.
Find out more about the NSW Irrigated Farm Modernisation Project
This project delivered water for the environment by upgrading stock and domestic water delivery schemes.
Find out more about the NSW Basin Pipe Project
The Australian Government committed $200 million from the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program to establish the Strengthening Basin Communities program.
The Strengthening Basin Communities Program is closed and no future funding rounds are planned at this time.
This program assisted irrigators within the southern connected system of the Murray–Darling Basin to modernise their on-farm irrigation infrastructure while returning water savings to the environment.
Find out more about the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program
This program helped irrigation water providers to develop modernisation plans for their districts and assess options to adapt to a future with less water.
Find out more about the Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance program
This program aimed to inform irrigation water providers of the nature, location and amount of water lost in their irrigation water delivery system.
Find out more about the Irrigation Hotspots Assessment Program
This program aimed to improve the efficiency and productivity of water use and management of private irrigation networks to deliver water savings for the environment.
Find out more about the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program for NSW
This program funded upgrades to irrigation infrastructure and other activities that improved the productivity of the farm business.
Find out more about the Commonwealth On-farm Further Irrigation Efficiency Program
This program upgraded irrigation infrastructure and promoted better water management practices.
Find out more about the QLD Healthy Headwaters Water Use Efficiency Project
This program developed and tested the feasibility of a suite of Environmental Works and Measures projects in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Find out more about the Environmental Works and Measures Feasibility Program
This project provided $140 million towards the development of modern and efficient irrigation in Tasmania.
Find out more about the efficient irrigation in Tasmania project
This program supported the construction of sustainable irrigation schemes in Tasmania.
Find out more about the Tasmanian Irrigation Tranche II program
This fund supported project initiatives that encouraged water and energy savings measures at the community level.
Find out more about the Green Precincts Fund
This program sought to support and encourage water efficiency within Australia's commercial and industrial sectors.
Find out more about the Water Efficiency Opportunities Program
This program funded practical projects that save water and reduce water losses in cities and towns nationally, predominately in towns with populations of less than 50,000.
Find out more about the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program
A program that aimed to accelerate the development and uptake of smart technologies and practices in water use across Australia.
Find out more about the Water Smart Australia program
This program assisted major towns and cities to secure their water supplies and reduce their reliance on rainfall dependent sources by supporting infrastructure projects and research in desalination, water recycling and stormwater harvesting and reuse.
Find out more about the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan
The Private Irrigation Infrastructure Program for South Australia (PIIP-SA) funded irrigation infrastructure efficiency improvements for Murray-Darling Basin operators in South Australia, with a share of the water savings achieved from those projects to be used for environmental water purposes. In exchange for funding, successful applicants will transferred entitlements to the Commonwealth for environmental water purposes.
Find out more about PIIP-SA
The Riverine Recovery Project aimed to implement an improved riverine management regime for the River Murray from the South Australian–Victorian border to Wellington in South Australia and deliver water savings for transfer to the Commonwealth for environmental purposes. The activities undertaken as part of this project reflect a landscape-scale approach to addressing the problems of the River Murray and provided more effective, efficient and flexible management of environmental water. The Australian Government is contributing up to $89 million towards the project.
The Commonwealth provided 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 were transferred to the Commonwealth for environmental use while the remaining 45% were retained by irrigators. The project was aligned with the Goulburn-Murray Water Connections project, which supported a major modernisation of the irrigation system within the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District.
The project involved the modernisation of channels, replacement or removal of meter outlets, and creation of new direct connections for customers currently connected to distribution and spur channels.
The $103 million Sunraysia Modernisation project delivered an integrated body of works to modernise irrigation infrastructure across the Mildura, Red Cliffs and Merbein irrigation districts in the Sunraysia region of northern Victoria.
The project returned 7 GL of high reliability water savings to the environment on average over the long-term every year and assisted irrigators in the Sunraysia region to achieve water efficiency gains, minimise costs and grow higher value crops all year round. The Victorian Government submitted a final report on the project which can be found below. For further information see Sunraysia Modernisation project—Victoria.
The report has not been prepared by the department and may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines. If you require an accessible version of the report, please contact the author.
The Wimmera Mallee pipeline project involved replacing 17,500 km of open water channels with 8,800 km of pipeline. The project was co-funded across a number of Commonwealth water programmes and the Victorian Government, including $99 million from the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program. Construction of the pipeline is complete.
Funding of up to $10 million was contributed to remedial works on the Hume Dam southern training wall. The funding was appropriated to the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) over 3 years.
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 aimed to improve the security of Lithgow's water supply by supplementing potable water supplies and offsetting water that would ordinarily be drawn from Oberon Dam.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council was the lead recipient for a consortium of councils covering the regions of Liverpool Plains and Gunnedah. The project undertook a review of the issues affecting water security and management in the Gunnedah and Liverpool Plains communities now and in the future. The review included studies into water availability and options to better manage water resources. It also examined the socio-economic importance of water use and undertake a review of existing water supply and management infrastructure, as well as future water needs.
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 km 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 $8.8 million. The project has been completed and the pipeline opened on 2 July 2015.
See Macquarie River to Orange Pipeline project – Orange Water Security for details.
The Australian Government committed funding of up to $265 million, under two National Partnership Agreements, to the South Australian Government to undertake delivery of the South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Program.
The SARMS program aimed to increase the efficiency and productivity of South Australian irrigation businesses, and secure and return 36 GL of long-term annual average yield ‘gap bridging’ water to the Commonwealth for environmental water use.
See South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Program for details.
The Australian Government provided up to $180.1 million to this project. In 2014, it resulted in the purchase of 84,417 ha of land by the NSW Government and 381,000 ML of supplementary (Lowbidgee) water entitlements being transferred to the Commonwealth for environmental use. These water entitlements make a large contribution towards ‘bridging the gap’ to the sustainable diversion limit in the Murrumbidgee Valley under the Murray–Darling Basin Plan. This has significantly reduced the need to purchase water entitlements from other areas in the Murrumbidgee Valley that have substantial permanent plantings and irrigation infrastructure.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries is responsible for implementing future land management arrangements on the property, including extensive infrastructure works, to assist in achieving these objectives.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) conducted a performance audit of the project in 2014-15 and found it was one of the most cost effective water recovery projects administered by the department.
See Nimmie-Caira project—NSW Department of Primary Industries for details.