How is artesian water being wasted?
Artesian water is easy and inexpensive to utilise, but after it flows to the surface, it is often used inefficiently. In many areas, artesian water is traditionally being allowed to flow uncontrolled from bores into open drains and creeks for stock to drink. Thousands of kilometres of bore drains are still in use in Queensland. Even in well-maintained drains, up to 95 per cent of the water is wasted through evaporation and seepage.
The use of bore drains for water distribution has many disadvantages and these include:
- Infestations of invasive woody weeds, such as prickly acacia, in and around bore drains
- Feral animals are provided with a habitat and permanent water supply
- Salinity problems can be created or aggravated
- Bore drains built across a slope catch runoff water, reducing rainfall infiltration below drains and thereby limiting pasture growth
- Erosion problems often result from drains overtopping or breaking their banks
- Amount of time and expense needed to maintain bore drains
- Concentration of minerals by evaporation (e.g. Sodium and Fluoride) can negatively affect animal health.
By controlling bore discharge and replacing bore drains with polyethylene pipes, tanks and troughs for livestock water, these problems will be eliminated.
Some bores, due to faulty construction or the action of corrosive water, have control valves that cannot be turned off, while others have no control valves at all. Much of the water that flows from these bores is therefore wasted, as discharge cannot be restricted to stock requirements.
Some artesian water and some shallow subartesian water is extremely corrosive to steel bore casing. This results in more wastage, as water escapes through the corroded casing and flows out of control over the ground or into other lower-pressure aquifers.
Last reviewed 14 June 2012
Last updated 16 April 2010