The NSW Government is calling for projects that improve water efficiency through off-farm infrastructure to save water in the Murray Darling Basin.

Under the Commonwealth-funded program, up to $1.48 billion will be provided to support projects, including $1.33 billion for projects put forward by any one of the Basin States and around $150 million in direct grants to successful applicants.  

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the program could deliver significant long-term benefits to irrigators, farmers and communities in the Murray Darling Basin.

“We’re looking for projects that can improve and modernise water delivery systems to reduce water loss, while also creating jobs in local communities,” Mrs Pavey said.

“This is an opportunity for businesses, farmers, water utilities, councils and communities to put forward their ideas for improving water efficiency in regional NSW.

“Projects selected for this program will be key to increasing the availability of environmental water in the Murray Darling Basin, while also improving water availability for irrigation and communities.”

Minister Pavey said the program will consider projects that improve the water efficiency of irrigation networks and stock and domestic water supply systems, as well as water infrastructure for industry, mining and urban purposes.

“We want to see these projects succeed. The NSW Government will work with successful applicants to develop their project proposal before it’s considered by the Australian Government for funding.

“I look forward to seeing regional NSW’s ingenuity and knowledge playing a part in achieving our commitments under the Murray Darling Basin Plan, as well as establishing NSW as leaders in innovation.”

The program is now open to individuals and entities in the irrigation, urban and manufacturing sectors located within the Murray Darling Basin.

The NSW Government will work with applicants to develop water efficiency concepts into project proposals until 30 June 2023, or until funding is fully allocated, with projects to be delivered by June 2024.

Potential applicants can find more information at visit https://dpie.nsw.gov.au/water/water-infrastructure-nsw/off-farm-water-efficiency-program.