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Summary of past drilling activity within the Great Artesian Basin, Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee



Summary of past drilling activity within the Great Artesian Basin, Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee


Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; D0851




Great Artesian Basin


The Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee (GABCC) requested bore hole data from the state and territory government databases to be collated to estimate the number of bore holes that have been drilled into the Great Artesian Basin (GAB). This is to inform discussions on the legacy of the 140 years of past drilling activity with respect to the long term management of the groundwater resources of the GAB.


Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Executive summary -- Introduction -- Scope -- Limitations of the data -- Summary of all available data -- Total number of reported bore holes drilled -- Date of construction -- Water bore data -- Drilling in areas of artesian conditions -- Water supply bore depths -- Estimated replacement value of water supply bores -- Number of bores with uncontrolled artesian flow -- Discussion -- Appendix A-E




Great Artesian Basin; Drilling Activity

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Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee

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27 pages : colour illustrations, colour maps, tables ; 30 cm.

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Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee.



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19 Appendix B. Northern Territory Data NT GAB groundwater management The NT GAB Water Control District was declared in 2010 to enable regulation of all water extraction under the NT Water Act as a prerequisite to the water allocation planning process. A draft GAB Water Allocation Plan was released for public comment in 2012. The final Plan is anticipated to be declared in 2018/19. The draft Plan area in the south-east corner of the Northern Territory is equivalent to about six per cent of the Northern Territory. This area of approximately 86 500 km, is based upon the sediments and outcropping of the Eromanga Basin within the Northern Territory. In the NT, the sediments of the Algebuckina Sandstone and Cadna-owie Formation represent the GAB aquifer. Groundwater is the important consumptive water resource within the District and is currently extracted for unlicensed stock and domestic use, and for a licensed public water supply to the community of Finke. However, surface water has environmental and cultural significance and as a source of recharge to the GAB aquifer. A significant increase in groundwater extraction may be anticipated should the current wave of oil, coal and gas mining exploration materialise as on-ground developments. Water use associated with mining activities is currently exempt from water licensing requirements under the Water Act. This exemption is expected to be removed in 2018, enabling the finalised Plan to include consideration of water extraction made for mining purposes. The most significant consumptive groundwater resource within the District is the water from the GAB, which is also believed to support important interstate GAB springs in South Australia and Queensland. However up to a third of current water use within the District, particularly for pastoral purposes, is considered to be from non-GAB aquifers. Due to the relative paucity of available information about the groundwater resources within the District, the whole of the District is considered as a single management zone for the purposes of the Plan. Table 10: Total number of boreholes in the NT groundwater management unit Bore purpose GAB-NT Water supply 125 Groundwater monitoring 7 Coal & mineral exploration 0 Oil/gas exploration/production 16 Other / not recorded 161 Total 309 Summary of Groundwater monitoring data in NT GAB

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