A jointly funded
the NSW and
G o o n a l B o r e 1 9 0 7
Cap & Pipe the Bores is a jointly funded initiative of
the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to achieve
sustainable land and water management in the Great
Artesian Basin (GAB). $20 million will be available in
NSW over the five years from 1999 to 2004.
Artesian bores will be rehabilitated and
wasteful bore drains will be replaced with
efficient piped systems so that water can
be controlled and used only when and
Implementation of Cap & Pipe the Bores
will reduce wastage, address artesian pressure
decline, improve water use efficiency, reduce salinity,
conserve biodiversity, control feral animals and encourage
sustainable land and stock management practices.
The time of changeover from bore drains to pipelines also
presents an excellent opportunity to review property
infrastructure and management.
The Great Artesian Basin (GAB)
The GAB is one of the largest freshwater basins in the world
with an estimated total storage of 8700 million megalitres.
It underlies 22% of Australia, spanning the three states of
Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia as well
as the Northern Territory. The GAB covers a total area of
1.7 million km2 of which 207,000 km2 are in NSW.
It is a national asset that brings wealth and productivity to the arid
and semi-arid areas it underlies, supports a population of 200 000
and underpins more than $3.5 billion of production each year.
What’s the problem?
Flows from bores and artesian pressure
have declined considerably over the last
100 years. In some cases, bores that
originally flowed at 80 litres per second
(2500 megalitres per year) have now
ceased to flow or are continuing to flow
at much reduced rates. Bore head pressures that were initially
in excess of 800 kPa are now, in many cases, below 200 kPa.
Most flowing bores deliver water to bore drains where up to
95% is wasted through evaporation, seepage and breakouts.