MORE than $1.5 billion worth of grants is on the table for off-farm water efficient projects.
The funding will be available for the next three years for smaller-scale projects, with grants ranging from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $150 million.
Last year, Water Minister Keith Pitt vowed to end water buy backs - without legislating the promise - and shifting the focus of the water efficiency program to off-farm projects, which aim to recover 450 gigalitres for the environment.
Mr Pitt said the Off-farm Efficiency Grants Program would generate water savings for the environment while also making more usable water available to farmers.
"We've put an end to water buybacks and we're putting communities back at the heart of Basin Plan implementation," Mr Pitt said.
"Saving water through the off-farm program is a win for both farmers and for the environment.
"We consulted with Basin communities and those who own and operate off-farm irrigation infrastructure about these grants and today we've released the guidelines and opened for applications."
All projects need to produce a positive or neutral socio-economic benefits for their region and will need to work with their respective state government to undertake socio-economic testing and public consultations.
For more information on the guidelines around the Off-farm Efficiency Grants Program and to apply, visit business.gov.au/ofegp.
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