The Australian Government will deliver $1.7million in funding for seven new water infrastructure projects in NSW.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and NSW Minister for Lands and Water, Niall Blair, recently announced the projects, which are part of the fourth phase of the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI).

The seven new projects will deliver important water infrastructure upgrades that will replace inefficient open bore drains with modern piped reticulation systems.

Mr Joyce said, “These projects will see about 41 kilometres of open bore drains decommissioned, and 55.6 kilometres of new pipe drains installed, as well as replacing seven old bores,

“Even in well–maintained open drains, up to 95 per cent of water can be wasted through evaporation and seepage.

“These infrastructure upgrades are expected to save about 1,646 megalitres of water each year, supporting greater water security and drought resilience for farmers who rely on artesian water.”

Mr Joyce said the Great Artesian Basin is a precious water resource that underpins agricultural productivity, strong communities and a healthy environment. He said it must be managed with long term vision to ensure it can support positive economic, social and environmental outcomes to benefit future generations.

“The Australian Government has invested over $112million over 15 years to accelerate work to modernise water infrastructure across the Basin and last year we extended the GABSI programme for an additional three years to 2017,” Mr Joyce said.

NSW Minister for Lands and Water, Niall Blair said he was pleased to have secured funding under Phase Four of the GABSI.

“The Great Artesian Basin lies below 25 per cent of NSW, supporting a population of over 200,000 people, with an estimated 1,400 bores,” said Mr Blair.

“The NSW Government has committed $6million for rehabilitation of artesian bores and this funding from the Australian Government will help replace inefficient open bore drains with efficient piped systems.”

Jessica Dickers

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