Water resource projects on the agenda

Wednesday, 05 April, 2006

Eligible organisations across the country will have the opportunity to invest in major water resource projects with the announcement today of a new call for proposals under the federal government's Water Smart Australia program.

Announced by Ken Matthews, chairman of the National Water Commission at the launch of World Water Day, the new round of funding also includes a specific call for irrigation proposals.

The call for new funding proposals follows an announcement by the Prime Minister that the government has committed, to date, $392 million to a total of 28 major water conservation projects, worth in total over $1 billion.

"Water Smart Australia is a large scale project program that supports on-ground water resource projects that will make a significant contribution to the sustainable and efficient management of Australia's water resources in rural, regional and urban areas," Matthews said.

"The program is a key component of the $2 billion Australian Government Water Fund and encourages innovation in water management which will lead to improved water resource management, water supply and delivery, and efficiency of water use, water for the environment, and general health of our water systems.

"Investments under the program will also progress the blueprint for national water reform " the National Water Initiative " and projects put forward for funding will need to demonstrate how they are consistent with the objectives, outcomes and actions of the Initiative.

In addition to a general call for proposals the Commission is seeking proposals from the irrigation sector that will result in, among other things, a more integrated and efficient management of water resources and encourage water saving practices that may otherwise not have been achieved.

Guidelines for the general call for proposals and guidelines for the irrigation sector are available on the Commission website at the National Water Commission website. Applications for the current round close on 16 June 2006.

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