National Water Grid Connections Funding Pathway

The National Water Grid Connections pathway enables the quick delivery of targeted water infrastructure projects to bring more immediate benefits to Australia’s regional communities.

Connections recognises that while small-scale infrastructure projects individually may make localised improvements to water outcomes, collectively they can make nationally significant contributions to the National Water Grid.

Up to $20 million in water infrastructure funding was made available for each state and territory under the Connections pathway, through the National Water Grid Fund, with an Australian Government contribution of up to $5 million per project.

To be eligible for funding, Connections pathway projects needed to meet the existing eligibility criteria in the National Water Grid Investment Framework, as well as meet one or more of the following targeted priority themes:

  • Improving water access and security
  • Promoting regional economic growth and sustainability
  • Building resilience to drought and a changing climate.

Project packages being delivered under the Connections pathway were brought forward by states and territories, with seven packages totalling 40 projects being funded. Construction has commenced for six packages, comprising a total of 15 individual projects now under construction. Construction is expected to have commenced on another 10 projects by mid-2022.

Collectively, these projects will start to deliver significant improvements to regional communities, including the construction of new off-stream storage dams, water pipelines, and recycled water irrigation systems. 

Nationally, farmers will benefit from increased water security, as planned irrigation extends to a further 7000 hectares and connect 400 new customers. An additional 13,000 customers are expected to benefit from improved water access or reliability.

The project packages are also expected to create 2500 new ongoing jobs, 500 seasonal jobs and a further 1175 construction jobs, further supporting economic growth and development in rural and regional Australia.

An additional 33.6 GL of water storage capacity and a further 31.3 GL of additional water each year is expected to be available as a result of investment in projects under the Connections pathway.

View the Connections packages across the country: