$1.5 billion for Basin businesses to upgrade water infrastructure

Irrigators and businesses across the Murray-Darling Basin now have the opportunity to apply for the Australian Government’s $1.5 billion water infrastructure program.

Head of water at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Paul Morris, said the program was central to the long-term health of the Murray-Darling Basin river system.

“The $1.5 billion Murray-Darling Basin Water Infrastructure Program provides organisations with the chance to modernise water infrastructure and improve productivity,” Mr Morris said.

“Upgrading water infrastructure so we waste less water is a common sense approach to restoring the health of this mighty river system without hurting the people who live and work in the Basin.

“All funded projects are required by the Basin Plan to have a neutral or positive socio-economic outcome.

“This program allows us to move past a zero-sum game by creating water savings for the environment while improving the business performance of water users.

“Any additional water savings can be retained by those water users.

“Funding is available for urban, industrial, off-farm and metering projects across all Basin states.

“We are also supporting irrigators in Queensland, South Australia and the ACT to implement more efficient on-farm irrigation infrastructure.”

Mr Morris said the Australian Government was committed to delivering the Basin Plan on time and in full.

“The key to delivering the Murray–Darling Basin Plan and reviving the river system is smarter water use,” Mr Morris said.

“In a dry continent, particularly with current drought conditions, it is vital that we use our water resources as efficiently as possible.”

Tender 3 of the $1.5 billion program will close on 2 October 2018. Further tenders will be run until tender 6 closes on 25 January 2019, with more opportunities through to 2024.

The first tenders closed on 7 August 2018 with submissions being received by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources under both the Delivery Partner and Project Partner tenders. These tenders are currently being assessed.

More information is available on the department’s website at agriculture.gov.au/waterefficiency.

Interested applicants can apply on AusTender.

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