Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance


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.

Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance helped  irrigation water providers to:

  • develop modernisation plans for their districts, and
  • assess options to adapt to a future with less water.

The scope and detail of a modernisation plan varies with the particular characteristics of the district to which it applies. See the sample modernisation plan for an example of what might be included.

Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance is part of the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure program which is funding key rural water projects to improve the efficiency and productivity of water use and management.

The Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance program is now completed.

What is an Irrigation Modernisation Plan?

The scope and detail of a modernisation plan will vary with the particular characteristics of the irrigation district to which it applies. It is expected however, that a modernisation plan will consider the issues affecting the irrigation district in a strategic, integrated manner and include consideration of:

  • the structure and governance arrangements of the irrigation water provider
  • planned investment in existing irrigation assets in the irrigation district including supply infrastructure through upgrading, replacement or reconfiguration of the assets
  • customer base and relationships with other water users from the same water supply
  • the opportunities to improve knowledge of water use in the system through improvements to metering
  • existing irrigation infrastructure, efficiency of the water delivery system, and opportunities for efficiency improvements, including a quantification of estimated water savings from the options explored
  • the future strategy for the irrigation water provider and the irrigation district in the short-term (to 2012) and long-term (to 2030).

The modernisation plan can also consider other issues of specific importance to the irrigation district.


The Australian Government approved $6,075,465 for the following 24 irrigation water providers to obtain independent professional expertise and facilitate workshops to assist with modernisation planning.

Round 1, totalling $4,626,000 (applications closed on 19 November 2007)

  • Southern Rural Water
  • Murray Irrigation Ltd
  • Goulburn-Murray Water
  • Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited
  • SunWater
  • Harvey Water
  • Trangie-Nevertire Cooperative Ltd
  • Tenandra Irrigation Scheme
  • Wimmera-Mallee Water
  • The Renmark Irrigation Trust
  • Jemalong Irrigation Limited
  • Tatalia Water Supply Inc.
  • North Burdekin Water Board
  • South Burdekin Home Water Board

Round 2, totalling $604,000 (applications closed on 8 August 2008)

  • Bringan Irrigation Trust
  • Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme
  • West Corurgan Private Irrigation District
  • Western Murray Irrigation Limited
  • Coliban Water Corporation

Round 3, totalling $845,465 (applications closed on 29 October 2012)

  • Narromine Irrigation Board of Management
  • Central Irrigation Trust
  • Goodnight Irrigation Trust
  • Hay Private Irrigation District
  • Grawlin Water Scheme

More Information

For more information on Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance email: