Water Sensitive SA

Urban rivers and catchments grants

Urban rivers and catchments grants

1 December 2023

The Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) have opened applications for their Urban rivers and catchments program 2023 to help meet the Australian Government’s election commitment to restore the health of urban, outer urban/peri-urban and regional centre waterways for native plants and animals, and local communities.

It is an open competitive grant aimed to meet the following outcomes:

  • restored and/or improved riparian areas, stream banks or aquatic habitats, to benefit native species including threatened species, or aquatic areas of significance
  • improved water quality, water in the landscape, and waterway connectivity to benefit native aquatic species including threatened aquatic species, or aquatic areas of significance
  • improved urban green and blue space, including improved community access to nature, improved water quality to benefit public health, and increased shading to help reduce urban heat-related impacts due to climate change.

Up to $109 million is available from 2024-25 to 2027-28 under two streams of funding:
Stream 1: Small to medium-specific grants for projects with a project value from $150,000 up to $2,000,000 across one or more defined project sites. Primary focus is small to medium sized community- based projects (for example: local waterway habitat, habitat connectivity, and water quality improvement etc.).

Up to 100% of eligible expenditure will be funded for successful applicants under Stream 1, however, cash or in-kind contributions are encouraged, including volunteer contributions. Total budget for Stream 1 is $51 million.

Stream 2: Large-specific grants for projects with a grant value from $2,000,000 up to $10,000,000 and a total project value of at least $4,000,000 across one or more defined project sites. This stream will focus primarily on large scale projects (for example: re-naturalising concrete channels to create living streams, stormwater filtration through artificial wetlands to improve water quality etc.).

Up to 50% of eligible expenditure will be funded for successful applicants under Stream 2 meaning that proponents are required to contribute significantly to the project as committed cash, although additional in-kind contributions are also encouraged. Total budget for Stream 2 is $58 million.

Examples of eligible activities, such as installing WSUD elements, are provided in the guidelines. The conservation of EPBC-listed threatened species and the improved health of EPBC-listed threatened communities and wetlands of international importance (Ramsar wetlands) are specific objectives of both streams. You can conduct an EPBC protected matters search for your area using the search tool.

Funding will not be considered if the project is receiving funding from another Commonwealth government grant, or if the project’s viability is dependent on another grant or funding source that is unconfirmed at the time of submitting your application. You can apply for a grant for your project under more than one Commonwealth program, but if your application is successful, you must choose either the Urban rivers and catchments program 2023 grant or another Commonwealth grant. Other eligibility criteria and assessment criteria can be found in DCCEEW’s guidelines.

The Water Sensitive SA team has limited capacity to assist partner organisations with project scoping and feedback on grant applications. Please email as soon as possible if you are likely to want our assistance with your grant application.

Closing date and time Tuesday13 February 2024, 4:30pm ACDT (5:00pm AEDT).

Earliest start date for projects is likely to be July 2024. All projects must be completed by 28 February 2028, with a maximum project length of 44 months.

DCCEEW enquiries

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Acknowledgement of Country

Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.