Report reveals economic importance of Great Artesian Basin

​The Australian Government has today released a report examining the significant economic value generated by Great Artesian Basin (GAB) water resources.

The report, commissioned by the Australian Government and GAB jurisdictions based on advice from the Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee, was prepared by Frontier Economics and looked at the economic activity of industries reliant on Great Artesian Basin water resources.

The report estimated that water from the Basin underpins at least $12.8 billion in economic activity annually.

This includes $4.7 billion in value generated from livestock production, with over 14 million beef cattle for meat production and over 11 million sheep and lambs in GAB regions.

In addition, the value of irrigated agriculture that uses GAB water is estimated to be greater than $60 million.

Looking forward, the report identifies new or increased water demand from new or expanding industries as a key challenge in effective long-term management of the GAB water resources.

The report will be used to inform the development of a new Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan to help guide the future management of this vital resource.

The report will also be a useful information resource to support the development of policies and programmes, and infrastructure investment, to support better management of Australia’s water resources.

The full report is available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

More information on the Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan is available on the department website.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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