Water Efficiency Program

On 3 March 2021, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, announced that the Water Efficiency Program will close and be replaced by a water saving program that does not impact farmers’ water entitlements.

Waterfind is in communication with registered participants. For all enquiries please call Waterfind on 1800 890 285 or email wepenquiries@waterfind.com.au

Read the media release

Waterfind is a Delivery Partner in the Water Efficiency Program (WEP)

We are a Delivery Partner in The Water Efficiency Program (WEP), an Australian Government initiative providing up to $1.5 billion in funding for water saving projects to improve water efficiency and return 450 Gigalitres of water to the environment by 2024.

Why choose Waterfind as your Delivery Partner? We have the expertise, knowledge and long-standing experience in delivering funding for water-related projects. Collaborating with irrigators, leveraging from our strong relationships with stakeholders and Government, we have secured $67 million in funding for over 60 water saving projects, returned 28 GL of water to the environment and achieved 45 GL in water savings. It is this very success that makes us a Delivery Partner of choice.

About the Water Efficiency Program (WEP)

The Water Efficiency Program (WEP) is open to participants who own an eligible water right and can complete project work to achieve water savings while transferring a portion of those savings.

The Program will benefit irrigators and communities, helping to prepare and manage the impacts of a changing climate by improving practices and saving water.

Water saving projects must have positive or neutral socio-economic impacts on Murray Darling Basin communities, meet the minimum water savings and meet agreed criteria of efficiency measures.

Applications for water saving projects valued less than $1 million must be submitted through a Delivery Partner and for projects over $1 million, applications can be submitted through a Delivery Partner or to the Australian Government.

To find out more visit the Department’s website.

Project streams for the Program


  • dams and water storage
  • stock and domestic pipelines
  • upgraded channel systems.

Metering projects


  • flow regulation infrastructure
  • installing meters
  • upgrading meters to comply with the Australian Standard.

On-farm projects


  • drip systems
  • replacing open channels with pipes
  • water-efficient root stock.

Waterfind as your Delivery Partner[/mk_fancy_title]

Waterfind is Australian owned and operated, we have over 17 years of industry experience, with expertise in water policy and legislation, strong partnerships with stakeholders and Government, along with sound project management and governance structures, together these underpin our success and make us the Delivery Partner of choice.

We have long-standing experience in assisting applicants to secure Government funding for a range of water-related projects and managing the administration for small and large-scale water-related projects from application submissions, approvals, design and implementation.

Our achievements in partnering with farmers across the Murray–Darling Basin to secure funding for three rounds under the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program (OFIEP) include:

  • Facilitated in the successful delivery of over $67 million in funding to support over 60 on-farm projects, while returning 24GL of water to the environment.
  • Partnered with proponents across the Murray–Darling Basin to secure funding for three rounds under the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program (OFIEP).
  • Delivered benefits to farmers and communities and the environment by modernising on-farm irrigation infrastructure, while returning water to the environment.
  • Contributed to Australian Government water saving targets of 187GL, helping to secure a sustainable future for our irrigation communities.

Learn more about our success as a Delivery Partner in the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program (OFIEP) here.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take for a proposal to be approved?

The assessment will be undertaken as quickly as possible by both the state and the Commonwealth. Two weeks is allowed for the initial socio-economic assessment. If there are questions or clarification is needed, it may take a little longer. The public comment phase for projects published on the Commonwealth Have Your Say site is two weeks. It could anywhere from four to 12 weeks. Victorian projects will take a little longer, as there is a separate process for projects in Victoria.

What would happen should project go over the limit?

Projects that cost more than the allowable funding limit will probably not proceed. If it was just outside of the budget, the department will discuss with a proponent what they want to do, and they may be given the opportunity to adjust costings. The department will not pay more than 1.75 multiplier.

Can we re-apply if project is rejected?

Yes. If a project is unsuccessful, we will tell you why to enable you to address any issues as part of a new application.

What if we don't achieve our targets of water savings?

The program is designed to ensure that people do achieve the water savings. All projects must be independently assessed to ensure the water savings are realistic and only the minimum conservative estimate can be offered.

Can this program be undertaken alongside other relevant funding?

Applicants cannotdouble dip” but it may be possible to receive funding for part of the works from the Water Efficiency Program and funding from another program for another part of the work

Project Fee structure for our delivery of Delivery Partner services

A fixed fee for projects of $11,750 (excluding GST) which covers the costs to develop projects including:

  • Application development
  • Technical assessment
  • Certification
  • Pre-works inspection (for one site inspection, additional site inspections would be charged at a rate of $1,750)
  • Conveyance fee


A variable fee, between 5-8% which will be determined taking into account project duration and complexity

  • Duration
  • Complexity

Need to find out more?

Watch the video below to see how farmer Dave Reilly is saving and returning water with wins for his business and for the Murray River 

Watch other videos to learn how farmers are participating in the Program, getting water smart and reaping the benefits.  

Visit the Department of Agriculture website for more details on criteria measures and eligibility.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to be contacted by one of our brokers, please send us an email with your details.