The Water Efficiency Program
The Water Efficiency Program is delivered by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and provides funding for modern and more efficient infrastructure to reduce water consumption.
Five types of projects can receive funding:
· Urban water efficiency projects
· Industrial water efficiency projects
· Off-farm projects
· Metering projects
· On-farm projects.
Importantly, projects need to have positive or neutral socio-economic impacts on Murray Darling Basin communities and industries.
How to apply
In South Australia there are two options for submitting applications. For projects that are less than $1 million, these must be submitted through a delivery partner. Projects with a cost of $1 million or greater can also be submitted through a delivery partner or to the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture.
Information about eligibility and how to apply is available from the Department for Agriculture.
Applications to undertake water saving projects in South Australia will be assessed against the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council additional socio-economic criteria.
Queries about the assessment of applications against the additional socio-economic criteria in South Australia can be sent to DEW.EfficiencyMeasures@sa.gov.au.
Efficiency measures are an agreed component of the Basin Plan to recover 450 gigalitres of water. This water aims to deliver enhanced environmental outcomes in the Coorong and Lower Lakes as well as floodplains adjacent to rivers in the southern Murray-Darling Basin.
Efficiency projects are activities that improve water use practices and save water for the environment. They are part of the Basin Plan’s Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism, which is in place to benefit the environment and communities across the Murray-Darling Basin.
As part of the agreement under the Murray Darling Basin Plan, $1.5 billion is available from the Australian Government to improve water efficiency and return 450 gigalitres of water to the environment by 2024.
As well as benefiting irrigators, communities and the environment, this funding better prepares irrigators and communities to manage the impacts of a changing climate by improving water use practices and saving water.
In South Australia investments in water saving infrastructure through the Basin Plan have resulted in increased productivity and the return of water to the environment.