The North Burdekin Water Board came into existence in 1965 in response to critically declining groundwater levels brought about by the combined effects of a major increase in the area assigned to sugarcane and several years of inadequate natural replenishment resulting from drought conditions at that time.
A study of the geology of the 622km2 Delta showed a composition of deltaic sediments resting on an old granite surface. Test drilling revealed an extensive aquifer system which (when full) would represent a storage in excess of 1.23 million megalitres. A further study of the aquifer system deemed it possible to artificially replenish this underground basin. The vision to utilise this rather unique storage was born resulting in the formation of the North Burdekin Water Board in 1965.
The district's early settlers described our underground water supply as "liquid gold" and its value to the district to date, remains high.
The Burdekin District is the largest cane growing area in Australia. It's future and indeed the future of the Board now depends largely on the adoption of a programme to maintain and manage this precious resource; which has in recent years been somewhat taxed by increased demands placed on it to meet the requirements of increased assignments and a series of years with below average rainfall, where natural replenishment has not occurred.
What we do?
The function of the Board is to utilise part of the flow in the Burdekin River to replenish the subterranean water supply in that part of the Burdekin Delta north of the Burdekin River and to thereby increase the quantity and improve the quality of the supply available from this source for irrigation, domestic, stock and industrial and urban purposes.