chapter  29
8 Pages

Water and Irrigation Schemes

IN THE EIGHTIES, attention was directed to a peculiarity of Australian physiography - that Australia possessed a supply of underground water probably the most extensive in the world'! Russell, the Government astronomer of New South Wales, aroused interest in this (1879) by proving that the Murray carried off nearly twenty times as much water as the Darling in proportion to its size. In other words, artesian or underground water lodged in the area known as the 'Great Artesian Basin' stretching from the Darling and Lake Eyre north over most of Queensland to the Gulf of Carpentaria. In addition, six smaller basins have been discovered, one around the Murray and five in Western Australia.2