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Great Artesian Basin

The Great Artesian Basin is an artesian basin[?], one of the largest in the world and present in one-fifth of Australia's land mass. It originates in the northern reaches of the Great Dividing Range and extends westwards throughout much of outback Queensland and parts of the Northern Territory.

It is the source of most of the water used in these areas. Whilst unsuitable for irrigation, it is adequate for stock and domestic usage (with treatment) and is thus vital to human activity. To tap it, bores are drilled down to a suitable rock layer, where the pressure of the water forces it up, mostly without pumping.

Overusage of the basin's water has led to a decline in the water pressure available, a source of great concern to water users as, if left unchecked, would mean that bores might go dry (or, at best, require water to be actively pumped out). It is commonplace for bores to be tapping water that is two million years old. Various governments are discussing cooperation to reduce usage, but little has been done.

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