National Water Infrastructure Development Fund - feasibility studies

The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF) is an initiative of the Australian Government, delivered through the states and territories.

Its purpose is to accelerate the assessment of water infrastructure proposals which could stimulate regional economic activity and development.

A number of Queensland applications were successful in obtaining funding to undertake feasibility studies.

The Queensland Government has been working with the successful proponents to help them deliver their studies.

The studies are supported by funding from the NWIDF, an initiative of the Agricultural competitiveness white paper and Our north, our future: white paper on developing Northern Australia.

Progress report

All the Queensland feasibility studies have now been finalised and the reports are available below.

We encourage you to read the feasibility studies in their entirety to gain an understanding of the anticipated costs, benefits and challenges associated with the proposals.

Note: The publication of these reports does not represent an endorsement of the proposals by the Queensland Government.

What's next?

Proponents will use the feasibility studies to determine:

  • the viability of the proposals
  • whether further investigations are required
  • whether it is appropriate to progress them at this time.

The information will assist our consideration of potential priority water needs and options across Queensland for new bulk water supply infrastructure and will be used to update the Queensland bulk water opportunities statement.

Completed feasibility studies - final reports

Bundaberg channel capacity upgrade

Undertaken by SunWater Limited.

The study investigated the upgrade of the existing Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme, including channels and pipelines to increase distribution from Paradise Dam.

Access the report:

Burdekin Falls Dam raising

Undertaken by the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP).

This study is a preliminary investigation into raising the dam wall, looking at estimated demand for new water entitlements in the region and potential environmental impacts.

Since this study was completed, discussions between SunWater and potential water customers have indicated the potential for greater water demand in the short to medium term than noted in the study.

As a result, SunWater is now preparing a preliminary business case to ensure the right strategy is in place for the long-term water needs of the region.

Access the report:

Burdekin Haughton channel capacity upgrade

Undertaken by SunWater Limited.

To facilitate the use of available water allocations in the Burdekin Haughton Water Supply Scheme, this study investigated distribution channel limitations and augmentations.

Access the report:

Clermont sustainable water strategy

Undertaken by the Isaac Regional Council.

The study examines ways to achieve reliable long-term performance of the council's water supply, treatment, storage and distribution infrastructure for the next 20 years.

Access the report:

Emu Swamp Dam (Granite Belt irrigation project)

Undertaken by the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce.

The study has developed a detailed business case for the proposed Emu Swamp Dam and associated water distribution scheme – referring to the whole development as the Granite Belt irrigation project.

A formal Queensland Government addendum has been included at the start of the detailed business case, outlining a number of matters that need to be considered and appropriately addressed before the project can progress.

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Gayndah regional irrigation development project

Undertaken by Isis Central Sugar Mill.

This study looks at opportunities to enhance sugarcane supply to the mill by developing new sugarcane lands and infrastructure in the Gayndah region.

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Hells Gates Dam

Undertaken by Townsville Enterprise Limited.

The study into the proposed Hells Gates Dam and associated infrastructure requires a significant amount of further assessment to establish the financial viability and economic benefits associated with the proposal.

The assessment indicated this project would be challenging, with the main risks being:

  • costs of water likely to restrict the viable cropping opportunities
  • absence of a water allocation or allowance under the Water Plan
  • capacity of markets to absorb significant additional horticultural production.

Because of this and other factors outlined in the report, this proposal needs to be further considered along with:

  • other competing interests and development options for water resources in the area
  • impacts to existing users and the environment.

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Lakeland Irrigation Area Project

Undertaken by Cape York Sustainable Futures and Regional Development Australia – Far North Queensland and Torres Strait.

The strategic business case assesses the expansion of the Lakeland Irrigation Area and considers soil suitability, water availability, storage and distribution design, analysis of economic and financial aspects and production of a business case.

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Lockyer Valley aquifer recharge

Undertaken by the Lockyer Valley Regional Council.

The study reviewed and short-listed water supply options for agriculture in the Lockyer Valley based on assessment and comparison of sustainability, yield and the levelised cost to supply water.

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Lower Fitzroy River infrastructure project

Undertaken by Building Queensland.

This study is a detailed business case for the construction of a new weir at Rookwood on the Fitzroy River.

The Australian and Queensland governments have committed to jointly fund construction of Rookwood Weir.

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North and South Burnett feasibility study

Undertaken by North Burnett Regional Council and South Burnett Regional Council.

The study examined a range of water supply and security options in the North and South Burnett regions to underpin an expansion of irrigated agriculture, new jobs and economic growth.

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North West Queensland strategic water storage - Cloncurry River Dam

Undertaken by Mount Isa Townsville Economic Zone Inc. (MITEZ)

This preliminary business case assessed the estimated demand for new water entitlements in the area around Cloncurry and identified the proposed Cave Hill Dam as the preferred infrastructure.

The study indicated that the costs associated with the proposed development were likely to outweigh the benefits at this time.

MITEZ is preparing a detailed business case with the remaining NWIDF funds to assess the potential costs and benefits in more detail.

It will also undertake activities that can be used in the future if a change in circumstances makes the proposal viable.

Access the report:

MITEZ has also prepared a detailed business case with the remaining NWIDF funds to assess the potential costs and benefits in more detail. This report identifies activities that can be used in the future if a change in circumstances makes the proposal viable.

Access the detailed business case:

Nullinga Dam

Undertaken by Building Queensland on behalf of the Queensland Government, the study has developed both a preliminary business case and a detailed business case for a proposed dam on the Walsh River near Mareeba.

Access the preliminary business case report:

Access the detailed business case on Building Queensland’s website:

South East Queensland treated effluent for agricultural production (NuWater Project)

Undertaken by Queensland Farmers' Federation (QFF) on behalf of an unofficial consortium including QFF, Cotton Australia, AgForce, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, and others.

The preliminary business case explores supplying recycled water (of varying quality) to the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley for agriculture.

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Tablelands irrigation project

Undertaken by the Tablelands Regional Council.

The study has developed a preliminary business case that examines the viability of multipurpose water use options as a vehicle to drive regional economic growth and achieve industry development and community benefit.

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Urannah Dam

Undertaken by Bowen Collinsville Enterprise Limited.

This study is a preliminary business case for the proposed Urannah Dam, on the Broken River near Collinsville, together with an associated water distribution network.

It identifies potential water demand from the mining sector and urban communities across the Bowen Basin and neighbouring regions, as well as from a new irrigation area which could be established closer to the dam itself.

Following assessment of a range of technical, environmental and hydrological factors, as well as financial and economic modelling, Bowen Collinsville Enterprise has identified 2 options for further assessment.

Please read the statement by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy at the beginning of the report before considering the findings and recommendations of the study.

Access the report:


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