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(Cairns... Far North Queensland)



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Selwyn Johnston


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In 1996, two (2) recharge bores were drilled on a 30-acre private property at Forest Hill (Lockyer Valley), which lifted the water table level by approximately twenty-three (23) centimetres in a three (3) day heavy rain period, as a direct result of the nature of aquifer recharge.

Four (4) weeks later, after the levelling out of the underground water table beneath the property, there was still an overall increase of approximately two and a half (2½) centimetres in the level of the water table in the bores. 

Recharge water bores must be initiated on a 'broad range basis', that is, a recharge hole drilled on one property could also benefit a property owner some 3/5 kilometres away, depending on the topology of the region. This would be easily recognised on hydrology and geological survey maps. 

For example, a 'spread' of recharge bores in a designated area of Far North Queensland may flow down the water table on the western side of the Great Dividing Range, and emerge in the Condamine or Murray-Darling encatchment areas. 

Aquifer recharge bores are best drilled in low-lying areas of freehold or Crown land, thus alleviating swamping, minor water courses and in some instances, flood plains. 

To assist in the natural recharge of the underground water table, it would be the preferred option to locate a number of smaller recharge bores, approx. twenty (20) centimetres in diameter, over a wide area so as to replenish sub-artesian aquifers in adjoining underground strata's. 

Larger recharge bores of up to sixty (60) centimetres in diameter would be ideally located in natural sand-mass and sandstone sub-artesian recharge areas. 

Rather than decommissioning existing ‘dry’ bores, as suggested by DNR & M bureaucrats, the tens of thousands of these bores can be easily utilised for aquifer recharge at a minimal cost. 

The current proposal to pump Brisbane's treated sewerage to be reused by Lockyer Valley farmers as irrigation is at best ill-conceived, and at worst criminal, as any treated sewerage cannot be guaranteed safe in the general environment, let alone used for irrigation on vegetable crops for human consumption. 

The cost of this proposal alone could be used to fund and construct hundreds of thousands of recharge bores across regional and rural Queensland, saving State and Federal governments hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. 

Further facts and research are available, in addition to diagrams, which would illustrate to even the most fastidious representatives of Local, State and Federal governments, that this rational solution to a real problem is achievable. 

The benefit of aquifer recharge water bores cannot be understated in view of the fact that Australia is the driest inhabited country in the World. 

This common sense proposal is obviously in the best interests of Australia so as to replenish and maintain a high level of artesian and sub-artesian water supplies for future generations of Australians. 





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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870