The Queensland Government is committed to improving the sustainable take of water from the Great Artesian Basin (GAB). A significant proportion of free-flowing artesian bores and bore drains have been made watertight across the GAB over the past three decades, much of this through a partnership program between the Commonwealth and state governments and landholders. However, a number of uncontrolled bores and un-piped bore drains remain. The new Great Artesian Basin and Other Regional Aquifers Water Plan 2017 requires all remaining uncontrolled artesian bores and bore drains to have a watertight delivery system by 2027.
The Queensland government has received co-funding from the Commonwealth to engage GHD to collect information about the remaining uncontrolled, or ‘free flowing’, bores and bore drains across the GAB in a “Great Artesian Basin Bore Census”. Starting in July 2018, GHD will be contacting around 330 landholders across the Queensland GAB via telephone, email and in some cases letter to gather the information on the current condition of their bores and bore drains. Landholders will be asked to complete data sheets about each uncontrolled bore or drain on their property. Where further information is required, a property visit to discuss the bore infrastructure and potentially a brief inspection of the relevant bores and, or, bore drains will be organised with willing landholders.
The data collected from the Bore Census will enable the government to estimate the total cost of achieving watertight delivery systems across the GAB in Queensland. This data will fast-track decisions on future capping and piping program delivery and may potentially decrease program costs, leading to more efficient and sustainable management of GAB water.
All landholders who participate in the Bore Census will receive maps of potential bore water management solutions, as well as costed options for the abandonment or replacement of uncontrolled bores and/or piping of all bore drains on their property. This information may also assist landholders to meet an October 2018 deadline for the submission of property bore management statement, required under the Water Plan (Great Artesian Basin and Other Regional Aquifers) 2017. Landholders who do not participate will not receive costed infrastructure options, however, the consultants will still have to estimate the potential costs for completing work on those properties to enable the Department to estimate the total cost.
Should you require more details on the GAB Bore Census project, please contact Kylie May of GHD on 07 3316 3589 or visit http://ow.ly/xCql30kKMG2.