Media release: Tuesday 31st May 2022

Major Australian natural capital investment company Kilter Rural today announces that it is forecast to donate 5.4GL of water which aims to support 21 high value wetlands encompassing approximately 1600 hectares in the southern Murray-Darling Basin next financial year, in addition to 3.8GL donated this financial year.

The donations are thought to be the largest private water donations in Australian history.

The water donation is the outcome of a partnership between The Nature Conservancy Australia (TNC), Kilter Rural and the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group provided through the $85m Murray-Darling Basin Balanced Water Fund, which has delivered an annualised return of 14.1% to its investors since inception. 

It is providing critical habitat for water birds, with monitoring already showing an increase in bird diversity of up to 212% and an increase in bird abundance of 282% following inundation of wetland areas to date.

The donation is also supporting the return of endangered species to the wetlands, including the Southern Bell Frog, Eastern Regent Parrot and Murray Hardyhead. Four First Nations communities have gained access to water for their traditional lands under the program, to support cultural obligations and threatened species management, through the watering of areas on Aboriginal lands of key environmental and cultural importance.

Kilter Rural CIO Euan Friday said today that the partnership is an innovative model for delivering competitive returns to investors whilst also generating significant measurable positive environmental outcomes through the provision of water to threatened wetlands.  

“This is arguably the largest voluntary private donation of water to threatened wetlands in history and it has been made whilst delivering exceptional returns to investors; the Kilter Balanced Water Fund delivered 19.4% to investors in the 12 months to April 30 2022 and has delivered an annualised 14.1% since inception,” Mr Friday said.

TNC’s Director of Conservation and Science Dr James Fitzsimons said today that the Balanced Water Fund initiative had been a success. 

“This fund has succeeded in balancing returns for investors with guaranteed conservation outcomes for wetlands and floodplains on private land,” Dr Fitzsimons said.

Kilter Rural was established in 2004 to deliver profit with impact: investing at scale in the regeneration of farmland, water and environmental assets.  Kilter Rural operates two water investment funds as well as an agricultural fund, has A$250m in funds under management and in 2019 was awarded Australian Impact Asset Manager of the Year. 

For further information please call: Phil Davey +61 414 867 188.