Murray-Darling Basin
Balanced Water Fund

Australia’s only explicit impact water fund investing in southern Murray-Darling Basin water markets to deliver financial returns and environmental impact through water donations to culturally important wetlands and ecosystems

The Murray-Darling Basin Balanced Water Fund is the first investment vehicle in Australia to provide investors with the opportunity to achieve multiple objectives of securing water for agriculture, realising a financial return and restoring threatened wetlands.

Founded in 2015 the Fund’s objectives are delivered by recognised leaders in their fields, Kilter Rural, The Nature Conservancy and the Murray-Darling Wetlands Working Group.

The Impact

  • 17 Threatened Species
  • 1000ha Wetlands Watered
  • Over 10GL donated since inception
  • 4.6GL donation in FY24


  • 11.46% Annualised Since Inception*
  • 1.21 Reward to Risk Ratio*
  • 0.04 Correlation to S&P/ASX300*

*31 October 2023. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance


  • Highly regulated A$30+billion water market
  • Equivalent area the size of Germany
  • Asset-backed investment with low correlation

The Murray-Darling Basin Balanced Water Fund is now Zenith Approved for a second consecutive year.

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With more than $380 million in assets under management, investors can access a proven value-add investment strategy addressing climate-change risk and holds a track record of delivering robust returns*.
*Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

Water is the world’s most vital tradeable commodity

Environmental Outcomes

The Murray-Darling Basin Balanced Water Fund has supported an increase in bird diversity by up to 212% and an increase in bird abundance of 282%

“We originally established the Fund to seek that balance between returns for the investors as well as achieving those guaranteed environmental outcomes”
Dr. James Fitzsimons – The Nature Conservancy Australia.

4600ML (4.6GL) donation in FY24

5400ML (5.4GL) donation commitment in FY23

A total commitment to donate over 8000 olympic swimming pools since inception

Measurable positive environmental impacts delivered.

Investment Model

Sophisticated Market

  • With private entitlements on issue valued at approximately A$30+ billion, the sMDB is considered one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated water markets.
  • Asset-backed investment with low correlation to equity and fixed income markets.
  • Exposure to high-value agriculture with limited commodity risk.

Financial Returns

  • Attractive long-term value appreciation (7%-9% p.a. target capital growth).
  • Plus yield from the lease of water entitlements and the sale of water allocations (2%-3% p.a. target yield after all Fund expenses).
  • Counter-cyclical trading strategy targeting financial and environmental returns in addition to supporting irrigation communities.
  • Annualised returns of over 11% since 2015*

as at 31st October 2023. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Environmental and Social Returns

  • Leasing of water entitlements for irrigation supports rural communities.
  • Restoration of threatened wetlands and wetlands of cultural significance to Aboriginal groups.
  • Donated over 10GL of environmental water to 30 wetlands across Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) since 2015.

Leading Counterparties

  • Kilter Rural – One of Australia’s largest and most experienced water managers, playing a leadership role in water security management since 2009.
  • Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group restores wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin and improves the management of wetlands throughout the catchment by linking community involvement with best scientific understanding. Over more than 20 years, the Working Group has partnered with more than 150 landholders to deliver in excess of 100,000 megalitres (ML) of water to more than 200 of the Basin’s most important wetlandsIn this project the MDWWG is responsible for the effective management and delivery of environmental water flows.
  • The Nature Conservancy Australia – is the world’s largest conservation organisation working around the globe to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Nature Conservancy is a global leader in conservation finance. The Nature Conservancy has established more than 40 water funds globally and developed innovative initiatives such as Debt-for-Nature swaps, Indigenous livestock trusts, stormwater bonds and community fisheries.

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The Zenith Investment Partners (ABN 27 103 132 672, AFS Licence 226872) (“Zenith”) rating (assigned KIL0001AU 12/2022) referred to in this piece is limited to “General Advice” (s766B Corporations Act 2001) for Wholesale clients only. This advice has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any individual, including target markets of financial products, where applicable, and is subject to change at any time without prior notice. It is not a specific recommendation to purchase, sell or hold the relevant product(s). Investors should seek independent financial advice before making an investment decision and should consider the appropriateness of this advice in light of their own objectives, financial situation and needs. Investors should obtain a copy of, and consider the PDS or offer document before making any decision and refer to the full Zenith Product Assessment available on the Zenith website. Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Zenith usually charges the product issuer, fund manager or related party to conduct Product Assessments. Full details regarding Zenith’s methodology, ratings definitions and regulatory compliance are available on our Product Assessments and at Fund Research Regulatory Guidelines.