National Water Infrastructure Development Fund

The $1.3 billion National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (the Fund) is implementing the Australian Government’s commitment to identify and build the water infrastructure of the 21st century.

The Fund has two parts, a feasibility component and a capital component, through which the Australian Government is accelerating the detailed planning and construction of water infrastructure projects that will deliver new and affordable water to enhance water security and underpin regional economic growth, including irrigated agriculture and other primary industry.

Only state and territory governments are eligible for funding through this program. Funding is provided to state and territory governments through bilateral funding agreements in accordance with the Federal Financial Relations Act 2009.

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 the projects that have received funding commitments under the capital component of the Fund is available on the Water Infrastructure Projects page.

Key Dates

Applications will be accepted from state and territory governments continuously until all funds are committed.

Applications received by 1 April 2019 are being assessed in the current assessment round.

Applications received after this date will be assessed in future funding rounds subject to funding remaining available.

No date has been set for the next assessment process. Future assessment dates will be notified via this webpage subject to funding remaining 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 only 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. Refer to the guidance notes for National Water Initiative requirements DOCX: 22 KB PDF: 828 KB for details.

Refer to the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund—Capital Component Guidelines for further eligibility and assessment criteria.

How to Apply

  • Read the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund—Capital Component Guidelines DOCX: 127 KB PDF: 828 KB.
  • State/Territory Government complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) application form DOCX: 103 KB.
  • State/Territory Government submit an EOI application form and all supporting documentation.
  • 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 Water Infrastructure to discuss how to submit.

Please check this webpage regularly for updates. Frequently asked questions and answers will be published here to ensure all potential state and territory government applicants have access to the same information.

Drought Round

In 2018-19 the Australian Government held a special round of the capital component of the Fund to target investment to water infrastructure projects that will increase water supply and security for primary producers, businesses and communities in drought affected rural and regional areas. Applications are closed for the drought round. Successful projects are listed on the Water Infrastructure Projects page.

Feasibility Component

The feasibility component of the Fund provides funding to state and territory governments to support feasibility studies to accelerate the detailed planning and business case development necessary to inform potential future water infrastructure investment decisions.

Applications are closed for feasibility study funding through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

Additional information about the feasibility component of the Fund and the studies that have received funding is available on the Water Infrastructure Feasibility Studies page.

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 governments 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.

Can I apply for funding for on-farm water infrastructure or 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.

Background

The creation of the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and the National Water infrastructure Loan Facility followed the release of the Water Infrastructure Options Paper 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.

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

Further information

For further information on the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, please contact waterinfrastructure@infrastructure.gov.au.