Great Artesian Basin and other regional aquifers water plan

This information will help you understand how water is managed in the water plan area and how you can access water.

Map of the water plan area

View the water plan area on the Great Artesian Basin and other regional aquifers (GABORA) water area map (PDF, 235KB).

What's happening?

  • March 2022: Applications are now open for up to 4545 megalitres (ML) of unallocated Great Artesian Basin water from general reserve in parts of the Cadna-owie, Hooray, Springbok Walloon, and Hutton groundwater units.
  • Oct 2021: Explore the Great Artesian Basin and learn more about its cultural, economic and ecological importance to regional Queensland.
  • May 2021: Resources are available to help bore owners meet the requirements of the water plan for uncontrolled bores and drains. See below for more information. Note the due date of 31 July 2021 for landholders who have not previously submitted the required bore managements statements.
  • Dec 2019: The water management protocol has been amended and can be accessed below. The amendment allows more water users access to GABORA seasonal water assignment and makes the trade rules easier to understand. A statement of changes (PDF, 366KB) summarises the changes.
  • Jul–Sep 2018: As part of our planning to create a watertight delivery system by 2027, we are contacting landholders to obtain information about free-flowing bores and bore drains on their properties. Participating landholders will receive a map with costed water management options to support their bore management statements.
  • Sep 2017: The water entitlement notice (PDF, 1.9MB) to convert, grant or amend water entitlement notices has been published. All affected licence holders have been notified of these changes.
  • Sep 2017: New requirements for capping and piping uncontrolled bores and drains have come into effect. If a bore that has ceased to flow begins to reflow, you must notify the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water.

Water plan information

Bore management

The new water plan requires that uncontrolled bores be capped and bore drains replaced with pipes by September 2027.

The Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water has written to owners of property with flowing artesian bores or bore drains who have not previously submitted a bore management statement, explaining the requirement to submit bore management statements to meet water licence conditions and support a Minister's review of the GABORA Water Plan. Bore owners are required to complete a bore management statement (PDF, 112KB) and submit this by 31 July 2021.

If you have a bore-fed wetland that you believe has significant environmental, cultural or social benefits, you can submit an application for the assessment of bore-fed wetlands (PDF, 167KB).

Your application will be assessed by an independent referral panel. We will contact you if we need more information and advise you in writing once a decision has been made.

If your application is approved, your licence will be amended to allow water to continue to be distributed via a non-watertight system. Conditions to limit the flow rate or to ensure that water supplies the wetland only, may be added. You will need to manage the wetland to maintain the assessed cultural and environmental values.

Accessing water

Water from the Great Artesian Basin and other regional aquifers (GABORA)

Check the water management protocol (PDF, 1.1MB) for:

  • water sharing rules
  • water licence relocation rules
  • seasonal water assignment rules
  • protections for groundwater-dependent ecosystems and existing users.

If you want to access GABORA water, contact your local business centre for more information.

Other water

Other water includes surface water, overland flow and underground water in aquifers not managed by the GABORA water plan. Check requirements for accessing this water for the relevant water plan area.

More information

Contact us

Contact your local business centre for more information about water management and how you can access water.

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