National Water Infrastructure Development Fund Drought Round

Applications are open for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from state and territory government for funding through the $72 million Drought Round.

On 19 August 2018, the Australian Government announced a $72 million drought round under the capital component of the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (the fund) as a part of the Government’s $1.8 billion drought package.
The Drought Round will provide funding to assist state and territory governments fast-track the construction of permanent water infrastructure projects to increase water supply and security for primary producers, businesses and communities in drought affected rural and regional areas.

Key Dates

The closing date for EOI is 3pm AEDT 11 December 2018.

The Department may alter this date at its discretion. States and territories will be advised by email of any change to the closing date.

Eligibility

Only state and territory governments can apply for funding under the Drought Round.

Funding under the Drought Round will be provided for the construction of permanent water infrastructure projects that will increase long term water availability and security for primary producers, businesses and communities in drought affected regions. Only permanent water infrastructure projects ready to progress to construction will be considered.

For the purposes of the Drought Round, drought affected regions are defined as:

  • areas having experienced a rainfall deficiency in the 5th percentile for a period of 15 months or more ending any time between 30 June 2018 and 30 November 2018 as identified by the Bureau of Meteorology,

or as defined:

  • by the Queensland Government as a ‘fully drought-declared shire’ or a ‘partly drought-declared area’,
  • by the New South Wales Government as experiencing ‘drought’ or ‘intense drought’.

In submitting an EOI for funding state and territory governments must commit to implementation of National Water Initiative (NWI) consistent water management in the catchment where the infrastructure is proposed. Guidance notes for National Water Initiative requirements are available.

Further eligibility and assessment criteria are contained in the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund - $72 million Drought Round Guidelines (available below).

How to Apply

  • Read the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund - $72 million Drought Round Guidelines PDF: 334 KB DOCX: 125 KB.
  • Complete an application form.
  • Submit your EOI and a completed application form.
    • If your EOI, including attachments, is under 20 MB please submit via email to Water Infrastructure.
    • If your EOI, including attachments, is over 20 MB please contact the Department via email to Water Infrastructure to discuss how to submit your proposal.

Please check this webpage regularly for updates about this EOI funding round. The department will publish frequently asked questions and answers about this process to ensure all potential applicants have access to the same information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can local government or private organisations apply for funding under the Drought Round?

No. Local government and private organisations are not eligible to apply directly to the fund. Only state and territory governments are eligible to apply for funding under the Drought Round; however, state and territory governments may partner with local government and/or private organisations.

For information on other Australian Government funding programs that may be available to local government and/or private organisations, visit the Regional and community programs webpage.

What types of projects are eligible for funding under the Drought Round?

Examples of eligible water infrastructure include, but are not limited to,

  • dams, weirs, off-stream storages and water supply pipelines;
  • groundwater and managed aquifer recharge supply schemes; and
  • water treatment, including desalination, storage and reuse.

Further information about eligible and ineligible water infrastructure types is contained in the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund - $72 million Drought Round Guidelines (above).

Can I apply for funding for on-farm irrigation development?

No. On-farm water storage, supply and irrigation infrastructure is not eligible for funding through the Drought Round.

For information on other Australian Government funding programs that may be available for both on-farm and off-farm water infrastructure, visit the Regional Investment Corporation.

Further Information

If you require additional information, please email Water Infrastructure.