Surat Basin landholders attend CSG water impact meetings

ONGOING concern about the impacts of coal seam gas (CSG) on water in the Artesian Basin has resulted in about 250 Surat Basin landholders attending public consultation meetings.

The Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) held the sessions in Chinchilla, Dalby, Wandoan, Roma and Toowoomba this month to discuss the recent release of the 2016 Surat Basin Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR).

OGIA is an independent entity housed within the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, responsible for assessing potential future cumulative impacts of CSG on groundwater.

CSG project leader Daniel Phipps said it was important for landholders to have their say on the UWIR and to understand the modelling process and the predicted impacts from coal seam gas (CSG)across the region.

“The UWIR predicts the immediate and long term impacts of the CSG industry on aquifers and water users across the Surat Basin Cumulative Management Area,” Mr Phipps said.

“The model is predicting impacts to 100 bores in the immediately affected area and 469 bores in the long term affected area as a result of CSG activities.”

BSA chairman Lee McNicholl said the 500-plus turnout, “clearly underscores the ongoing vital interest and concerns that residents have about the impact of CSG sector’s statutory right to take unlimited volumes of ‘associated water’ from Great Artesian Basin aquifers on their bore supplies”.

“Modelling accurately the impact of an unknown final number of CSG wells out to the year 2070 across the SCMA, which is roughly the size of Victoria, is a monumentally ambitious endeavour relying on some ‘heroic’ assumptions,” Mr McNicholl said.


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