Rural water


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.

Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure

The Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program (SRWUIP) is a national programme investing in rural water use, management and efficiency, including improved water knowledge and market reform, and water purchase for the environment. It is the key mechanism to ‘bridge the gap’ to the sustainable diversion limits under the Murray Darling Basin Plan and consists of three main components: irrigation infrastructure projects; water purchase and supply measures.

The majority of SRWUIP infrastructure funds are committed to projects in the Murray-Darling Basin for improving the operation of off-farm delivery systems and helping irrigators improve on-farm water use efficiency. The water savings generated from these projects are shared between the Australian Government for environmental use, and irrigators for consumptive use.

SRWUIP investments include:

  • Planning, investigations and project design
  • Works on irrigation systems off farm
  • Works on farms to improve water use efficiency
  • Works to improve ecological health and restore natural flows
  • Water saving municipal projects – e.g. storm water harvesting
  • Water purchase through the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin Program
  • Environmental works and changes to river operations that enable the same environmental outcomes to be achieved with less water.

For more information about SRWUIP see:

South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program

The Australian Government has committed funding of up to $265 million, under two National Partnership Agreements, to the South Australian Government to undertake delivery of the Program. Copies of the National Partnership Agreements are located via: Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations

The South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program is administered by the South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regions. The Program aims to increase the efficiency and productivity of South Australian businesses, and secure and return 36 gigalitres of long term annual average yield ‘gap bridging’ water to the Commonwealth for environmental water use.

The Program provides $80 million for irrigation efficiency improvements; $40 million for a South Australian water purchase program; $120 million for irrigation industry assistance; and $25 million for regional economic development.

All enquiries about the program should be directed to the South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regions. Additional information can be found on the following South Australian website: South Australian River Murray Sustainability Irrigation Industry Improvement Program