Early European settlers in Australia faced the problem of finding
reliable water supplies. In the 1880s an apparently limitless water
source was found in inland areas. They had discovered aquifers of
the Great Artesian Basin which lies under one fifth of the
continent, west of the Great Dividing Range. They could dig bore
holes, and tap the aquifer, which is pressurised water under the
At first a lot of water was tapped and allowed to run around and be
wasted, but now we know that it is limited, and we must not waste
any of it. The water from the Great Artesian basin comes from
rainfall in the great dividing range, flowing under gravity at only
one metre a year. It can take 2 million years for the water to move
to the springs on the other side of the Great Artesian Basin in the
centre of Australia.
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