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Great Artesian Basin

Map of the basin

Water resource plan

We are currently developing a new water plan to replace the Water Resource (Great Artesian Basin) plan 2006 which is due to expire on 1 September 2016.

Statement of Proposals (PDF, 824.9KB) was released in September 2015 inviting public comment. Meetings were held in regional areas in October and November to enable local communities to be briefed on the Statement of Proposals. 

The consultation period is now closed, and the submissions received will inform the development of the draft Great Artesian Basin Water Plan.

The Minister's Performance Assessment Report (PDF, 1.1MB) which reviews the performance and effectiveness of the current plan is also available.

It is anticipated that the draft Plan will be available for public comment in mid-2016. 


Resource operations plan

Unallocated water

The department has now commenced a process to release unallocated water across management areas of the Great Artesian Basin.

The spring register

The water resource plan provides for a spring register listing the Great Artesian Basin springs that support significant cultural and environmental values. The water resource plan and resource operations plan protect the flow of groundwater to these springs.

The spring register contains information about spring locations, the spring type, the management units that are connected or supplying water to the springs, decisions made about water licences that could impact the flow of water to the springs, and the cumulative spring factor for each spring.

Spring factors are estimates of the change in pressure at a spring resulting from a water licence decision, as contained in the water resource plan. They are determined for new water licences granted from the unallocated water reserves (identified in the Great Artesian Basin Water Resource Plan), and for water licence relocations, amendments, surrenders, and cancellations; and added to the pre-existing cumulative spring factors for each relevant spring in the register.

Water licence relocation

Water licensees in the plan area are able to relocate water by transferring, amending or amalgamating all or part of their water licences. Relocations can occur provided these dealings are consistent with the rules in the plan regarding protection of entitlements of existing users and flow to springs.

The relocation of a water licence enables a licensee to transfer ownership of the entitlement, permanently trading the water licence from the land to which it is attached, to another parcel(s) of land.

This process differs from the more common form of water trading, whereby water allocations are traded independently of land titles and have their own registrable title.

Previous documents

You can view past reports and historical documents relating to the Great Artesian Basin plans in the library catalogue.

Contact us

Department of Natural Resources and Mines
PO Box 15216
City East Qld 4002

Phone: 13 QGOV (13 74 68) during business hours

Email: Great Artesian Basin WRP coordinator

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Last updated: 24 March 2016

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Contact us

Department of Natural Resources and Mines
61 Mary Street, Brisbane, Queensland 4000
13 QGOV (13 74 68) business hours
Visit the contact us page for specific enquiries