The Australian Government will provide $8 million in funding for water-saving projects in New South Wales under its Interim Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment Program.
The Great Artesian Basin provides water for more than 180,000 people and 7600 businesses in regional and remote Australia.
Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said the government’s $8 million investment in the Great Artesian Basin will ensure there is water available for generations to come.
“This will see water upgrades across the Great Artesian Basin such as capping and tapping free-flowing bores and replacing open bore drains with modern reticulation, to help maintain good water pressure,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The Great Artesian Basin is a large resource and it is important we use it sustainably and maintain the quality so it is available for future generations.
“From the $8 million fund we’re putting $2.255 million into New South Wales projects and the State Government has agreed to put in another $2.255 million. This is a great result for the community.
“The NSW Government will be responsible for on-the-ground delivery of projects.”
NSW Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair, said artesian bores and bore drains are the primary source of water and a vital part of the pastoral industry across north west NSW.
“Artesian pressure has dramatically fallen during the last 100 years. Under this agreement, NSW will be able to work with landholders to rehabilitate high priority artesian bores, which will provide clean, secure and reliable stock and domestic water to six large pastoral leases,” Mr Blair said.
“This project alone will save 2.3 gigalitres (billion litres) a year and is strategically targeted to restore artesian pressure at the ecologically important Great Artesian Basin natural springs.
“Similar projects that rehabilitate artesian bores have been extremely successful to date, making groundwater management in NSW more sustainable, and earning strong community support.
“We are pleased to continue to build on this successful work that improves on-farm productivity and protects our valuable groundwater reserves and landscapes.”
“With the end of round four of the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI) in June 2017, this program will provide certainty to communities that rely on the Basin,” Mr Littleproud said.
The program is an interim measure set to end on 30 June 2019.