​​​Media Release

Millions flow into water-saving upgrades

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud
NSW Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair


28 February 2018

  • Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Program to save water in NSW, Qld, SA and the NT
  • New South Wales is the first state to sign to the Federal Coalition's $8 million water saving program
  • Basin provides water for more than 180,000 people in regional and remote Australia

​The Coalition Government has given the green light to the first water-saving projects in New South Wales under the $8 million Interim Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment Program.​

The Great Artesian Basin provides water for more than 180,000 people and 7,600 businesses in regional and remote Australia.​

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the Coalition'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," Minister 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."

Minister Littleproud said the program was an interim measure set to end on 30 June 2019.

"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.

"We will work side-by-side with communities and governments in the Basin to encourage further private investment in water efficiency projects.

"The Great Artesian Basin supports industry worth nearly $13 billion a year so it is vital that we make sure it continues to provide clean and reliable water for the future."

For more information on the Interim Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment Program visit agriculture.gov.au/interim-gabiip.