Un­lock­ing the Arte­sian Basin

Chinchilla News - - NEWS -

SUPERCOMPTERS and satel­lite tech­nol­ogy will be used to un­lock some of the great­est mys­ter­ies sur­round­ing the Great Arte­sian Basin and bet­ter in­form ex­perts on sus­tain­able wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions.

Fed­eral Wa­ter Re­sources Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud said the $6.5 mil­lion in­vest­ment would en­sure peo­ple draw­ing from the basin had se­cure wa­ter for gen­er­a­tions to come.

“This will take the guess­work out of manag­ing wa­ter in the Basin,” Mr Lit­tleproud said.

“The basin still holds many mys­ter­ies such as how wa­ter nat­u­rally flows be­neath the earth.

“This is the wa­ter that keeps the out­back run­ning and we’ve got to make sure it lasts.”

The world’s largest and deep­est arte­sian basin holds 65 mil­lion gal­lons of ground­wa­ter and cov­ers al­most a quar­ter of the con­ti­nent.

The Basin pro­vides the only source of fresh wa­ter through much of in­land Aus­tralia.

“More than 180,000 peo­ple liv­ing in the out­back de­pend on its wa­ter, along with 7600 busi­nesses worth $13 bil­lion a year,” Mr Lit­tleproud said.

“Geo­science Aus­tralia will mea­sure grav­ity changes across the basin.

“They will be an­a­lysed by su­per­com­put­ers which will tell us how wa­ter en­ters the basin from rain­fall, how it is used and how much is held in stor­age.

“What we learn will help us make im­por­tant de­ci­sions bal­anc­ing long-term so­cial, eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes,” he said.

The project is part of the Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment’s $36.9 mil­lion drought re­silience pack­age in the Great Arte­sian Basin to im­prove wa­ter se­cu­rity by cap­ping leaks and re­plac­ing open channels with pipes.

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