A $1.5 billion water efficiency program has begun for water saving projects and infrastructure upgrades in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Water rights holders can register proposals for urban, industrial, metering, on-farm and off-farm water efficiency projects which will need to pass socio-economic criteria.
Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said projects would only be considered if they delivered positive or neutral socio-economic outcomes, according to the historic agreement between Basin Ministers in December 2018.
“We now move forward to recover environmental water while delivering positive or neutral social and economic outcomes, at local and regional level,” Mr. Littleproud said.
“The Federal Government proudly recovers water through projects which do not damage rural communities,” he said.
The program will work with an independent panel to assess the social and economic conditions in the Basin, to decide on how best to monitor the outcomes.
The projects will be made available for public comment which will help to inform the Federal Government before projects are chosen.
Registration of market interest for water saving projects over $1 million will now remain open until 31 December 2023.