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Landholders urged to get bores surveyed

Doug Papin conducting a bore survey. Photo: Geospatial Australia

Landholders around Bourke, Brewarrina, and throughout the artesian basin, are being urged to get their bores surveyed and assessed as funding for the cap and pipe program begins to dry up.

The program, funded by the NSW Department of Industry and Environment, allows farmers to determine pressure, flow rate and water quality in their bores.

Johnny Wood is Director of Geospatial Australia, in charge of field operations and field data collection.

He is currently surveying bores across the artesian basin to help identify changes in water pressure and flow rate. The information provides accurate data attributed to the cap and pipe the bores program which helps to secure future funding.

The Great Artesian Basin is one of the most crucial water supplies across inland NSW, Queensland, and South Australia, but uncontrolled extraction over the past 140 years has seen a significant decline in natural pressure.

There are approximately 8,000 bores tapping the Great Artesian Basin across NSW, and nearly half the bores have stopped flowing, reducing landholder access to water.

Mr Wood said the cap and pipe the bores program introduced in the late 1980’s and early 1990s, has helped increase water pressure and has reduced waste, but there were still many landholders who did not have the data to determine whether they were making best use of their water supply.

“Funding from NSW DPIE appears to be running out, so I am spreading the word to inform landholders that while there is funding, and the service is free, to get involved,” Mr Wood said.

“Bores that are eligible for survey are assessed for suitability for data capture which may include flow velocity, pressure and/or water table height and water quality production. The information captured is essentially a baseline assessment gaining a snapshot of the bore production”.

“Landholders may not be aware that over time there has been inter-aquifer leakage contaminating water from below and other potential problems. It’s good for them to know what is happening now,” he said.

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