National water basins, regions and development

​​​​​​The Australian Government contributes to water management across the country by working with state and territory governments to achieve effective resource management planning and policy and by contributing funding to projects to identify, plan and complete water infrastructure projects that increase access to water to support economic development.

National water infrastructure

The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund is an Australian Government commitment to start the detailed planning required to help secure the nation’s water supplies and deliver regional economic development benefits for Australia, while also protecting the environment. Funds are available to enhance the knowledge base underpinning water infrastructure planning and decision making, undertake detailed water infrastructure planning and to expedite the construction of water infrastructure.

From the 1 July 2016 the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility has been available to provide state and territory governments with concessional loans to co-fund the construction of water infrastructure projects. The loans will be available through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Great Artesian Basin

The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is one of the world’s largest underground water reservoirs. Uncontrolled flow from bores and open earth bore drains in the GAB threatens the health of important groundwater-dependent ecosystems and continued access to artesian water by farmers and land managers. It has also become difficult for new water users in or near the GAB to obtain access to groundwater resources.

Lake Eyre Basin

Lake Eyre Basin is one of the world's largest internally draining systems and the fifth largest terminal lake in the world. The Australian Government works with Lake Eyre Basin states and communities to ensure sustainable management of the water and natural resources associated with the cross-border river systems in the Lake Eyre Basin.

Northern Australia

The Australian Government is committed to the development of water resources in Northern Australia​​. Actions to progress development include the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and Northern Australia Assessments undertaken by the CSIRO.

Australian Government funds have been committed to gathering required information to inform the development and protection of northern Australia’s water resources and to provide financial support for projects that deliver economic development benefits to the region.


The Australian Government is providing financial support for the development of modern and efficient irrigation in Tasmania​. This commitment will assist Tasmania to ensure that the water resources within its irrigation sector are used in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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