Bore Water

  • In order to maintain the water table at a healthy level, the Daintree Futures Study recommends no more than one domestic bore per 5ha.  Excessive ground water extraction could significantly and irreversible change hydrology, effecting the vegetation. No hydrological assessment of groundwater storage has been undertaken for this area so the foundation of the Daintree Futures Study recommendation is limited.

  • Try to limit clearing to the understory.

  • Many older septic systems no longer meet minimum requirements in relation to distance from waterways and groundwater.  Seek advice from Douglas Shire Council prior to installing a bore if you have concerns.  If you have an existing bore, get a water test done, which should be an annual assessment. Cairns Water has the water testing laboratory to undertake potable water quality.

  • Poorly managed water bores pose a risk to underground water resources. Poor water bore construction and decommissioning practices have caused contamination and loss of pressure in many aquifers – you can find a list of registered water bore drillers here.

  • Before considering sinking a water bore refer to fact sheet Drilling for water  for more information. For licensing and construction requirements for underground water in your area contact your local departmental office.

Information to assist the Department with your enquiry includes:

+ the location of the property on which you want to sink the bore—rural road address or lot on plan number 

+ how you intend to use the water from the bore

+ if you have a current licence to take groundwater

+ details of your licence


Before engaging a drilling contractor, you should come to an agreement on a number of points:

+ whether the drilling rig is capable of doing the job

+ approximate depth to be drilled

+ the charge for a ‘dry’ hole

+ the charge for a completed bore

+ tests to be carried out on completion (to determine water quality and quantity).

The Queensland Department of Natural Resources Water Management Resource Directory provides useful information.