The Australian Government is calling for applications for funding to support eligible stormwater harvesting and reuse projects under the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan: stormwater harvesting and reuse grants round. Projects are sought that capture, treat and use stormwater to ease the pressure on drinking water supplies and deliver improved water quality to our urban waterways.
The objective of the stormwater harvesting and reuse grant is to provide support for urban stormwater harvesting and reuse projects, in cities and towns that contribute to:
- improving the security of water supplies in Australia, without adding to greenhouse gas emissions
- reducing the demand for potable water supplies
- helping to reduce the impact of urban runoff on the ecological condition of receiving waters by protecting or improving water quality and the hydrological regime (e.g. protecting low flows and reducing the impact of high flows).
Funding available for individual project
Stormwater harvesting and reuse grant project funding is capped at 50 per cent of eligible capital costs, with a minimum project size of $2 million (eligible for funding of $1 million). While there is no maximum project size, funding from the Australian Government is capped at $20 million (GST exclusive) per project.
Stormwater harvesting and reuse grant project work must be completed by 30 June 2016.
This is a competitive grants round and meeting eligibility criteria does not guarantee funding.
Who is eligible to apply?
State, territory and local government, public water utilities and private companies are eligible to apply for the stormwater harvesting and reuse grant.
What projects are eligible for funding?
The government grant will support stormwater harvesting and reuse projects, including managed aquifer recharge and recovery1, that use urban stormwater to reduce demand on potable water supplies.
Urban stormwater is defined as ‘rainwater that runs off urban impervious surfaces such as roofs, pavements, car parks and roads. Common uses of harvested urban stormwater include the irrigation of parks and gardens, ovals and golf courses. Roof water harvested from non-residential buildings is increasingly being used for the watering of gardens, toilet flushing, car washing and other municipal, commercial and some industrial purposes.
As conventionally drained urban stormwater runoff can impact on streams and rivers in Australia’s cities, activities that could be incorporated into the types of projects described above include:
- reducing the volume of stormwater runoff reaching receiving waters during medium and high flow events, or attenuating (delaying) flows over a longer period of time to reduce flow intensity
- protecting and improving low and dry weather flows of good quality to receiving streams and rivers
- reducing pollutants from, and improving the quality of, stormwater flowing into receiving waters.
Projects under this round must include harvesting and reuse. However projects that have multiple benefits which may include a component to assist in the management of localised flooding will be highly regarded.
Activities that are not eligible for stormwater harvesting and reuse grant funding under this call include:
- stormwater management that does not include a significant reuse (e.g. projects must be primarily for water quality purposes)
- domestic rainwater tanks
- combined effluent and stormwater reuse schemes harvesting stormwater from predominantly non-urban catchments (e.g. rural or forested)
- irrigation schemes using aquifers, streams or river water from largely non-urban catchments development requirements that are being implemented to meet legislative, regulatory or policy requirements of local, state or territory governments or the Australian Government. For example, stormwater infrastructure required to meet development conditions such as local government development controls or the Building and Sustainability Index (BASIX New South Wales)
- construction of dams or raising of dam walls (except for stormwater retention basins and wetlands)
- roadworks (including raising of roadways and construction or widening of bridges)
- placement of fill on floodplains or excavation of floodplains
- raising of buildings
- acquisition/purchase of land or properties
- other activities deemed by the department to be unsuitable for Australian Government investment upon review of an application.
Stormwater harvesting and reuse grant applications are due by Wednesday, 7 December 2011 (5pm AEDT). Late applications may not be considered.
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