Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program

​The Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program (SRWUIP) is a national program investing in rural water use, management and efficiency, including improved water knowledge and market reform, and water purchase for the environment.

SRWUIP is the key mechanism to ‘bridge the gap’ to the sustainable diversion limits (SDLs) under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and consists of 3 main components:

  • irrigation infrastructure projects
  • water purchase measures
  • supply measures.

The majority of SRWUIP infrastructure funds are committed to projects in the Murray–Darling Basin for improving the operation of off-farm delivery systems and helping irrigators improve on-farm water use efficiency. The water savings generated from these projects are shared between the Australian governments for environmental use, and irrigators for consumptive use.

SRWUIP investments include:

  • planning, investigations and project design
  • works on off-farm irrigation systems
  • works on farms to improve water use efficiency
  • works to improve ecological health and restore natural flows
  • water saving municipal projects
  • water purchase through the Commonwealth purchasing program
  • environmental works and changes to river operations that enable the same environmental outcomes to be achieved with less water.​

Projects funded or partly funded under the program

Infrastructure projects in the Murray–Darling Basin

State priority projects

  • ACT Healthy Waterways project
  • Goulburn Murray Water Connections project Stage 2 (formerly Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal project Stage 2)
  • NVIRP 2 – On-Farm project (Vic)
  • Sunraysia Modernisation project (Vic)
  • Irrigated Farm Modernisation project (NSW)
  • Healthy Floodplains project (NSW)
  • Metering Scheme project (NSW)
  • Basin Pipe project (NSW)
  • Nimmie-Caira Enhanced Environmental Outcomes project (NSW)
  • Healthy HeadWaters Water Use Efficiency project (Qld)
  • Coal Seam Gas Water Feasibility study (Qld)
  • Private Irrigation Infrastructure Program in South Australia
  • Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Recovery project (SA)
  • Riverine Recovery project (SA)
  • Flows for the Future project (SA)
  • Integrated Pipelines project (SA)

Other investment programs

  • On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program
  • Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program in New South Wales
  • Victorian Farm Modernisation project
  • Irrigator Led Group Proposals
  • Menindee Lakes project
  • Murray–Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program

Water purchase in the Murray–Darling Basin

Restoring the Balance in the Murray–Darling Basin

Supply measures in the Murray–Darling Basin

Environmental Works and Measures Feasibility Program

Other projects

  • Great Artesian Basin water infrastructure interim arrangements​
  • Supporting more efficient irrigation in Tasmania
  • Environmental Water Knowledge and Research project
  • Upgrade of meter test facilities for non-urban water metering

See also:

Taxation of Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure grants

Amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 commenced on 28 June 2013.

The amendments to the Act allow recipients of payments from eligible SRWUIP projects, to choose to make water infrastructure improvement payments non-assessable non-exempt (NANE) income, with expenditures matched by those payments non-deductible and to disregard any capital gain or loss from related transfers of water ​rights.

SRWUIP recipients should seek professional legal or accounting advice in applying the amendments to their individual circumstances. For more information relating to this tax measure, see the ATO website.

Whether or not taxpayers can make a choice affecting the tax treatment of amounts derived and expenditure incurred for a particular program depends on whether the program is listed under SRWUIP.

Programs under the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program (SRWUIP) eligible for the days listed under section 59-70 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
Eligible Program Eligibility start date Eligibility end date
Healthy Headwaters Water Use Efficiency project (Qld) 1 April 2010  
New South Wales Irrigated Farm Modernisation Pilot Program 1 April 2010 30 June 2011
Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program in New South Wales 9 April 2010  
Private Irrigation Infrastructure Program for South Australia 1 April 2010  
On Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program 1 April 2010  
Gascoyne Pipeline project 28 June 2010 30 June 2012
Irrigator Led Group Proposal Program (infrastructure removal component) 4 February 2011 30 June 2012
Goulburn Murray Water Connections project Stage 2 (formerly Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Program – Stage 2) 1 November 2010  
Strategic Subsystem Reconfiguration (infrastructure removal and reconfiguration component) 1 November 2012 17 December 2013
New South Wales Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation Program 7 December 2011  
Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project – On Farm Priority Project 17 October 2011 31 July 2014
Victorian Farm Modernisation project 26 July 2013  
Sunraysia Modernisation project 28 October 2013  
Flows for the Future Stage 1 15 February 2017  

See also water programs in:

Last reviewed: 14 April 2021
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