MILLIONS will be spent on improving the management of the nation's water, while billions will be spent to store it.
The federal government announced several measures to increase transparency and trust in the Murray-Darling Basin system, acting on the recommendations of several reports.
The reforms will be supported by a deluge of dollars for water infrastructure, splurging almost $7 billion on dams.
The basin's Inspector-General will get $3.2m over the next two years for a network of compliance field officers.
Water Minister Keith Pitt said the officers would be the "essential link between compliance actions and on-ground eyes and ears".
A further $2.1m will be spent on "sensible state-supported" water market reforms, as recommended by the ACCC, to improve integrity and public confidence in the water market.
A $2.6m independent panel of experts will be created to investigate how the operation of southern basin rivers can be maximised to improve water security for all users.
"[The] 12-month, independent, systematic, technical assessment of infrastructure in the southern Murray-Darling Basin to make sure we're well placed to make decisions about the infrastructure of the future to improve water security," Mr Pitt said.
The Coalition threw massive sums of money at water infrastructure across the country - most of which was announced pre-budget - with Queensland by far the biggest benefactor.
Hells Gate Dam in Far North Queensland makes up the bulk of the government's water infrastructure, with $5.4b committed pending a business case.
The government also committed $483m to Urannah Dam, $600m to Paradise Dam and $126.5m to the 12-gigalitre dam at Emu Swamp - all located in Queensland.
In NSW, the Dungowan Dam and pipeline - located near Tamworth - received a further $433m, while Hume Dam will be renewed over the next six years with $6.7m.
More than $20m of water infrastructure will be funded in Tasmania and $300m will go towards Darwin's Manton Dam.
The government has also committed $27.5m to develop the business case of 13 water infrastructure projects across the nation.
Mr Pitt committed $97m to the Health Rivers, Healthy Communities program, with grants of between $100,000 and $5 million available in the Murray-Darling Basin.
The money will be available to community groups, the irrigation industry, basin stakeholders and state governments for projects that build stronger regional communities and communities, improve the health of rivers and enhance environmental outcomes through targeted infrastructure investment.
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