Future Drought Fund

​Drought is an enduring feature of the Australian landscape. It has significant economic, social and environmental impacts.

The Future Drought Fund provides secure, continuous funding for drought resilience initiatives. It will help Australian farms and communities prepare to respond to the impacts of drought.

How it works

The Fund begins with an initial credit of $3.9 billion. Earnings will be reinvested until the balance reaches $5 billion (expected in 2028-29). Details about Future Fund investments can be found here.

From 1 July 2020, $100 million will be made available each year to support Australian farmers and communities. These funds will be used to help farmers and communities prepare for, and become more resilient to, the effects of inevitable future drought.

This will make agriculture more productive and profitable, enhance the wellbeing of our farming communities and improve the sustainability and resilience of the natural resources on which agriculture depends.

Drought Resilience Funding Plan

The Drought Resilience Funding Plan is a high level framework to guide funding decisions for the projects and activities.

The Funding Plan aligns with existing drought policies and strategies, including the National Drought Agreement .

Consultative Committee

The Future Drought Fund Consultative Committee provided independent expert advice on the Drought Resilience Funding Plan. The Committee comprises independent experts in fields that include agricultural economics, climate risk, rural and regional development and natural resource management.


The Funding Plan will be reviewed every four years. This will ensure it captures emerging priorities and remains future-focused. The Productivity Commission will assess the effectiveness of each Funding Plan before it expires, in a report that will be tabled in Parliament.

Funding model

The Plan informs the design of programs of grants and other arrangements. The Committee advises the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management on whether proposed programs are consistent with the Plan. The Fund will support initiatives that enhance the drought resilience of Australian farms and communities by becoming more prepared to respond to the impacts of drought.

This includes investment in research and innovation, research extension and adoption of new and existing technology, improved environmental and natural resource management, infrastructure and community initiatives. This will make agriculture more productive and profitable and enhance the wellbeing of our farming communities and the sustainability of our farming sector.

These funded projects will:

  • help farms and communities be more prepared to respond to the impacts of drought
  • lift the productivity and profitability of the agriculture sector
  • enhance the health and sustainability of Australia’s farming.

The Regional Investment Corporation Board will provide advice, consistent with the Funding Plan, to the Minister for Drought regarding whether to make an arrangement or grant, or enter into an agreement to support a drought resilience project.

Funded projects

Funding will be for projects or activities that enhance the public good by building drought resilience. Funding is available from July 2020. The types of things that could be funded may include:

  • Restoring native vegetation for soil or water regeneration
  • Financial and business planning for primary producers to improve ability to manage through lower income periods caused by drought
  • Training and information for primary producers in areas such as finance and business planning, managing climate risk and sustainable stock management
  • Training and information on local climate variability and advice on climate risk applied to specific locations
  • Research in drought resilience
  • Improving data on fodder and impacts from drought, including market trends.

Pilot and evaluation

From July 2010 to 30 June 2012, the department worked closely with the WA government to run a pilot of Drought Reform Measures in Western Australia. The pilot provided evidence to support the fund.

Read the evaluation report to find out more.


​Document Pages File size
Evaluation of the Western Australia Drought Pilot Programs PDF  85 1.7 MB
Evaluation of the Western Australia Drought Pilot Programs DOCX PDF Icon 85 1.9 MB

Published report may not meet Australian Government accessibility requirements as they have not been prepared by us. If you have difficulty accessing these files, contact us for help.

Contact us

Email  droughtresilience@agriculture.gov.au.

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Last reviewed: 14 February 2020
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