Cap and Pipe Program


DPI Water is recovering water in the NSW Great Artesian Basin by capping and piping free-flowing artesian bores. The Cap and Pipe the Bores program has given landholders in the Great Artesian Basin financial incentives to cap and pipe their bores. This increases artesian pressure, while establishing reliable and efficient supplies of good quality water to properties across north west NSW.

The Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest underground freshwater resources in the world. It lies below 12 per cent of New South Wales supporting a population of over 200,000. There are 1,400 bores tapping the Great Artesian Basin. Natural pressure across the basin has significantly declined due to overuse. Nearly half the bores have stopped flowing, reducing landholder access to water.

Please click through to the Department Website for more information on the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative.


The Cap and Pipe program has improved water supply through the following achievements:

  • saving 78,500 ML of water every year
  • supplied approximately 4.2 million ha with permanent, reliable, efficient and strategically located watering points
  • installed 18,000 km of piping
  • improved water quality for stock and domestic use
  • increasing artesian pressure, increasing access to water
  • reducing salt discharge by 62,800 tonnes every year

The Cap and Pipe program has succeeded in assisting landholders with:

  • clean water for better stock production
  • more reliable water supply on properties
  • strategically located watering points in the landscape
  • more efficient property management
  • investing in infrastructure to conserve water for future generations
  • assisted land managers to achieve more sustainable property and stock management.