Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan

Managing the Great Artesian Basin for the future

The Australian Government, in partnership with the New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Northern Territory governments, has launched the latest Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan to help basin governments manage this vital resource over the next 15 years.

The basin is one of the largest underground freshwater resources in the world and Australia’s largest source of fresh water. It generates nearly $13 billion for Australia each year.

Managing water in the basin presents complex environmental, social and economic challenges as well as opportunities for governments, water users and other stakeholders.

The basin gives life to communities, farms, industry and the environment and provides a vital water source during drought.

The Australian Government collaborated with the Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee and stakeholders to produce the plan.

Basin communities also played an important role. The government received more than 100 submissions during a consultation held in 2018, helping decision-makers to better understand community needs.

The basin’s complexities mean ongoing research and planning is crucial to its management.

The Australian Government also recently allocated $6.5 million for a project to better understand the water balance of the Great Artesian Basin.

The Geoscience Australia project will use supercomputers and satellite technology to investigate how water enters the basin from rainfall, how it is used, and how much of it is held in storage. This will give governments the information they need to better understand this important groundwater resource.

You can find out more about the plan and basin projects at

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Senior Water Resource Officer