Research and effective management make CSG industry sustainable

Independent and comprehensive research shows Queensland CSG operations will produce 26 per cent less water over the life of industry than previously estimated.

The report released by the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) has collected and analysed three years’ worth of water-monitoring data from water bores covering an area the size of Germany.

APPEA Director — Government Relations, Eastern Australia Chris Lamont said: “The Surat area is arguably one of the world’s most-studied underground water systems.

“This latest research shows the impact on underground water resources is well understood. It builds on the body of evidence that shows the industry is sustainable when properly regulated.

“Around 97 per cent of water produced by CSG activity is put to beneficial use.

“Treated CSG water provided to farmers can reduce dependency on shallow groundwater resources and surrounding rivers for irrigation and livestock watering, and can also reduce overall demand on critical aquifers.

“Understanding groundwater systems through extensive monitoring is helping to ensure sustainability.”

Mr Lamont said the industry will continue to be proactive in liaising with owners of potentially affected bores to discuss make-good arrangements for water supply if required.

The OGIA report can be found at https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/ogia/surat-underground-water-impact-report

Key points from the OGIA report:

  • Of the 22,500 water bores in the study area (the majority privately operated), 469 may be affected by natural gas production;
  • This represents an 11 per cent reduction on OGIA’s 2012 report;
  • These bores – which produce saline water from the Walloon coal measures – represent 1 per cent of the 22,500 bores in the study area;
  • Data has been collected from 491 monitoring points.