The 2013 Annual Report for the Surat Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR) recently released by the independent Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) shows little change to the likely long-term groundwater impacts from coal seam gas (CSG) development that were originally forecast in 2012.OGIA's 2013 Annual Report on the Surat UWIR draws on the latest groundwater data and development plans supplied by the CSG companies operating within the Surat Basin cumulative management area.
OGIA General Manager, Randall Cox said the latest company data shows CSG development in the Surat Basin is not commencing as early as was planned at the time the 2012 UWIR was prepared."As a result, in the short-term (by 2015), impacts will be smaller for the most part than previously predicted although in a few cases the impacts are expected to occur a little earlier.
"The companies are continuing to install monitoring bores in accordance with their obligations under the UWIR, and we will continue to collect data from those installations to assess what the trends are in the longer term," he said.
Dalby irrigator and GasFields Commissioner Ian Hayllor said protecting groundwater is a key priority and OGIA plays an important role providing independent and scientifically based assessment of the potential impacts of onshore gas industry activity on groundwater in the Surat Basin.
"The report highlights the proactive approach to monitoring and predicting groundwater impacts from CSG activity in the Surat Basin. If any landholder bores are identified as likely to be impacted then make-good measures are put in place, as required by the Water Act 2000, he said.
The 2013 Annual Report also highlighted progress on the wide range of research projects OGIA is carrying out in the Surat Basin to better understand groundwater aquifer connectivity. OGIA will use this new knowledge to refine the model used to predict CSG impacts, and then update the UWIR in December 2015.
For further information on OGIA's 2013 Annual Report visit the 2013 Annual Report for the Surat Underground Water Impact Report.