NSW Basin Pipe project

​T​he NSW Basin Pipe project delivers water for the environment by upgrading stock and domestic water delivery schemes. The project is a New South Wales state priority project agreed to the Australian and New South Wales governments at the July 2008 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting. The project is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by the New South Wales Department of Industry (Water).

The Basin Pipe Project upgrades selected stock and domestic schemes in the NSW Murray-Darling Basin to improve the efficiency of water use, restore flow patterns in natural watercourses and contribute to a sustainable future for dependent communities. Projects are upgrades to Commonwealth-approved piping schemes for Stock & Domestic license holders.

No new proposals are being accepted under this project. The final schemes to be delivered were approved in early 2019.

How the project returns water to the environment

Stock and domestic water delivery schemes are where licensed water is delivered via an earthen distribution system (natural or manmade) or pipeline system to individual landholders or groups of landholders for the purpose of human and animal consumption. Water losses from these schemes can be quite significant due to seepage and evaporation and replacing creeks and man-made channels with pressurised pipes can reduce these losses by over 80 percent.

The Basin Pipe project involved the upgrading of selected stock and domestic schemes. In return for the Australian Government’s investment in the projects, applicants transferred the project water savings to the Australian Government for environmental priorities.

Independent assurance review

In 2018 the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, in collaboration with the New South Wales Department of Industry (Water), commissioned an independent assurance review by KPMG of the NSW Basin Pipe project.
The objective of the review was to examine the governance, risk and control processes of the NSW Basin Pipe project to ensure the effective use of Commonwealth funds.

KPMG selected a random sample of 5 schemes (26 percent of all schemes) from the NSW Basin Pipe project for a desktop review. Within this sample KPMG selected 4 schemes for on-farm verification.

The sample covered projects ranging in total cost from $300,000 to over $8 million, covering 31 properties in the Murrumbidgee and Gwydir river valleys.

Overall, KPMG’s assessment of the NSW Basin Pipe project found:

  • New South Wales Department of Industry (Water) have developed and implemented a number of controls, processes and structures to assist in the administration of the NSW Basin Pipe project.
  • the projects reviewed through desktop and site visits appeared to corresponded with scope and progress reported and maintained by the New South Wales Department of Industry (Water) with only minor variations noted.
  • no instances of non-compliance with key provisions of the Water Management Partnership Agreement

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources supports the independent assurance review findings by KPMG of the Basin Pipe project. The review report and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ response are available below.


​DocumentPagesFile size
Review of State Priority Projects – Basin Pipe Project DOCX 20260 KB
Response to KPMG’s Independent Assurance Review Report (January 2019) of the New South Wales Basin Pipe Project DOCX 232 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, please visit web accessibility.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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