Unlocking the Artesian Basin
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.