Water in cities and towns


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

Policy and reform in the area of urban water

The Australian Government, together with states and territories, is undertaking a range of actions to progress urban water reforms. These will assist to secure urban water supplies, use water wisely, address the challenges of climate change and support healthy rivers.

National Urban Water and Desalination Plan

The National Urban Water and Desalination Plan is helping major towns and cities to secure their water supplies and reduce their reliance on rainfall dependent sources by supporting infrastructure projects and research in desalination, water recycling and stormwater harvesting and reuse.

National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns

The National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns is providing funding to cities and towns with fewer than 50,000 people to upgrade older water systems, install new infrastructure and support practical projects that save water or reduce water losses.

Water Efficiency Opportunities

The objectives of the Water Efficiency Opportunities Program is to support and encourage water efficiency in the commercial and industrial sectors of the community.

Strengthening Basin Communities

The Strengthening Basin Communities program is assisting local governments in the Murray-Darling Basin plan for reduced water availability and deliver associated local water saving initiatives

Water Smart Australia

Water Smart Australia aims to accelerate the development and uptake of smart technologies and practices in water use across Australia.

Green Precincts

The Green Precincts Fund supports project initiatives that encourage water and energy savings measures at the community level.

Water efficiency labelling and standards (WELS)

The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme labels a range of household products for their water efficiency, helping individuals to choose products such as washing machines, dishwashers, taps, showers and toilets to save water and money. The website, www.waterrating.gov.au also provides advice to plumbers, retailers, manufacturers, builders, architects and local governments on WELS requirements, registration, legislation, compliance and enforcement.