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The Northern Rivers and Dams: A preliminary assessment of surface water storage potential for northern Australia study was commissioned by the Australian Government to inform decisions for the evaluation of northern Australia's land and water resources.

Burdekin Falls Dam on the Burdekin River in Queensland © 

This study was undertaken considering potential surface water storage and proximity to agriculturally suitable soil.  These are two of many inputs required to establish priority amongst catchments where future detailed field studies for irrigation potential might be most productive.

The study found the north could support 1.4 million hectares of irrigated agriculture, which would increase Australia's total irrigated area by about 50 per cent.

The results of this study are intended to provide an indication of catchments in which opportunities for surface water development in support of irrigated agriculture are most prospective.

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