Kilter Rural is set to make the largest private water donation in Australian history with plans to allocate 5.4 giga-litres to 21 locations in the Southern Murray-Darling Basin. 

The natural capital investment company has already donated 3.8GL of water this year, and aims to support 21 high value wetlands.

The donation is part of a partnership between Kilter, The Nature Conservancy Australia, and the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group. For investors, the group has delivered the $85 million Murray-Darling Basin Balanced Water Fund, which has so far returned 14.1% pa since inception. With the water donations boosting conservation outcomes for wetlands and floodplains.

Their own monitoring has so far shown an increase in bird diversity of up to 212 per cent and an increase in bird abundance of 282 per cent, after watering of wetland areas. 

Endangered species have also returned to the wetlands, including the Southern Bell Frog, Eastern Regent Parrot and Murray Hardyhead.

First nations communities have also gained access to the water to support cultural obligations and threatened species management. 

“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,” Euan Friday says, Kilter Rural CIO.

Kilter Rural has been operating since 2014 with an agricultural fund, and two water funds, with a total of $250 million under management. It manages Australia’s only explicit impact water fund investing in southern Murray-Darling Basin water markets. 

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