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Water initiatives a priority for the Australian Government

The Australian Government is committed to delivering water infrastructure and climate change projects to help benefit and secure the future of the Murray–Darling Basin.
Published: 12 August 2021

The Australian Government is committed to delivering water infrastructure and climate change projects to help benefit and secure the future of the Murray–Darling Basin.

The $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund aims to support smaller-scale water infrastructure projects that increase water availability and storage capacity. While the ongoing development of the Climate Services for Agriculture (CSA) digital platform will enable farmers to access historical climate information and future projections in one location.

The Australian Government recently announced that $108 million allocated from the 2021–22 Federal Budget would be used to deliver 40 new projects through the National Water Grid Connections funding pathway. Twenty-five of these projects will be carried out in the Basin states of South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, with the aim of improving water security and reliability across the nation.

For more information about these projects is available on the National Water Grid construction program website.

Meanwhile, an additional $5 million was allocated through the 2021–22 Federal Budget to continue development of the prototype CSA digital platform. The digital platform is being developed by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology with the first-generation prototype launched in July 2021. Engagement with farmers in the following 4 pilot regions is now taking place to support further development of the platform:

  • Queensland Dry Tropics
  • Condamine and the Northern Tablelands
  • Victoria Mallee and south-east South Australia
  • South-west Western Australia

The prototype CSA digital platform is part of the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund, which provides $100 million each year for programs that build drought preparedness and resilience.

The first-generation prototype CSA digital platform draws on existing national datasets to present historical and projected climate information at a 5 km2 scale – including rainfall, temperature, heat and frost risk and evapotranspiration.

For more information on the prototype delivery timeline and how to access it see Climate Services for Agriculture.

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