May 17, 2012
The draft Surat Underground Water Impact Report, released today, shows that 85 out of about 21,000 private water bores in the Surat area are expected to be affected by coal seam gas mining within three years … and 528 will be affected in the long-term.
The Queensland Water Commission has released the draft report for public consultation.
Queensland Water Commissioner Mary Boydell said the report was a key part of the regulatory framework for managing the impacts of groundwater extraction by petroleum tenure holders, including CSG operators.
“The Commission’s draft report assesses the cumulative impact of CSG activity on groundwater levels and sets out a program for water monitoring and other activities to be implemented by individual petroleum tenure holders,” Ms Boydell said.
“Following a month of public consultation on the draft report, a final report will be prepared outlining actions petroleum tenure holders will legally be bound to carry out when the report is approved.
“The draft report contains maps that show where water levels are expected to be affected by more than the trigger thresholds specified in the Water Act 2000.
“Out of approximately 21,000 private water bores in the Surat Cumulative Management Area, the draft report finds 85 bores are expected to be affected inside three years, with a total of 528 bores expected to be affected in the long term.
“The report also proposes an integrated regional monitoring network that will substantially expand on the existing network.
“Petroleum tenure holders are already required to carry out baseline assessments of private water bores before production commences, and the draft report proposes that they also carry out these assessments for any additional bores where a water level impact of more then one metre is expected within three years.
“A spring impact management strategy is also proposed that provides for monitoring of springs, further assessment of spring connectivity and the development of mitigation options at the five sites where water level impacts of more then 0.2 metres are predicted in the aquifer that feeds water to the springs.”
Ms Boydell said today’s draft report was the first in a regular assessment and reporting cycle.
“The Commission will revise the report every three years to incorporate new knowledge and prepare annual reports on monitoring results and any changes to predicted water level impacts.
“Anyone with an interest in the management of water extraction across the Surat CMA is invited to submit their feedback on the draft report.
“Submissions on the draft report close at 5:00pm on June 22 and will be considered in the finalisation of the report.”
Public information sessions about the draft report will be held at Chinchilla on May 29 from 2:00pm-4:00pm and 7:00pm-9:00pm at the Chinchilla Golf Club, Warrego Highway.
For further information about the draft report, to register to attend a public information session or to find out how to make a submission, phone 1300-789-906 or email the Commission.