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Great Artesian Basin

Under the Water Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014, water resource plans and resource operations plans have been replaced by new planning instruments. Water planning outcomes for the Great Artesian Basin are now provided by the Water Plan (Great Artesian Basin) 2006 and Great Artesian Basin Water Management Protocol.

A new water plan is currently in development. A new water management protocol will come into effect at the same time as the new water plan.


The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is one of the largest groundwater basin complexes in the world. It lies beneath 22% of Australia and intersects 4 state and territory boundaries. About 70% of the GAB lies within Queensland and it is a major source of water for inland communities and industry.

The GAB feeds numerous springs of significant environmental and cultural conservation value. There are over a thousand springs in the Queensland part of the Basin.

Water planning

The water of the Queensland section of the Great Artesian Basin is currently managed through the Great Artesian Basin water plan 2006 (PDF, 1.5MB). The water plan is implemented through the Great Artesian Basin resource operations plan (PDF, 4.2MB) which was finalised in December 2006.

The current water plan will expire on 1 September 2017.

On 5 January 2017, the Minister released a draft new Great Artesian Basin and other regional aquifers water plan for public consultation. This new water plan will replace the current plan from 1 September 2017. The chief executive released a draft water entitlement notice and draft water management protocol at the same time.


Information on how these instruments were developed, the intent of the new provisions and how they differ from the current arrangements can be found in the statement of intent (PDF, 1.3MB) .

During February and March 2017, public workshops were held in 26 Queensland regional centres to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to hear about the draft water plan first-hand.

Submissions on the draft plan were invited and a total of 57 written submissions were received. These will be taken into consideration in developing the final plan.

Supporting documents

A number of supporting documents were prepared during the development of the draft water plan and water management protocol.

Hydrogeological assessments of the Great Artesian Basin

These assessments were prepared by Klohn Crippen Berger.

Reviews and reports

Fact sheets

Note: some of these file are larger than 2 MB and should be saved to your computer rather than viewed in your browser.

Previous documents

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

Contact us

Attention: GABORA Water Plan Coordinator
Water Policy
Department of Natural Resources and Mines
PO Box 15216

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


Last updated: 17 July 2017

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