Economic output of groundwater dependent sectors in the Great Artesian Basin

​​​The report, released by the Department of Agriculture and Water resources on 22​ August 2016, examines the significant economic value generated by Great Artesian Basin (GAB) water resources. 

Commissioned by the Australian Government and GAB jurisdictions based on advice from the GAB Coordinating Committee (GABCC), the report was prepared by Frontier Economics. It looks at the economic activity of industries reliant on Great Artesian Basin water resources.

The report estimates 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:

  • inform the development of a new GAB Strategic Management Plan to help guide the future management of this vital resource
  • support the development of policies and programmes, and infrastructure investment, to support better management of Australia’s water resources
  • assist the GABCC to achieve an improved understanding of the economic activity within the GAB
  • allow the GABCC to provide more informed advice to the relevant governments.

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