A risk to groundwater from coal seam gas extraction in the Surat Basin

A risk to groundwater from coal seam gas extraction in the Surat Basin Conference Paper

16th Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference

  • Author(s): Bridle, A., Harris, C.
  • Published: 2010
  • Publisher: Australian Rangeland Society

Abstract: The potential exists for land use conflict to arise between coal seam gas mining and traditional agriculture in the Surat Basin in Southern Queensland. Farming and grazing enterprises, businesses and towns in the region are largely dependent on the underground aquifers for their water supply. The process of extracting the gas from the coal seam results in the withdrawal of large quantities of water from the aquifers which underlie the basin and form part of the Great Artesian Basin water resource. Under State Government legislation the Coal Seam Gas Companies are allowed unlimited take of underground water while extraction of water for other users is controlled by the State Government. There is concern that due to connectivity between the coal seam and the aquifers that the dewatering during the gas extraction process is unsustainable. The risk of connectivity may be increased through the fracturing process used to enhance the release of the gas from the coal seam. It appears that the legislation governing the Coal Seam Gas industry does not protect the underground aquifers and that the Queensland Government has not followed the Precautionary Principle for sustainable development of this industry.

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Suggested Citation
Bridle, A., Harris, C., 2010, A risk to groundwater from coal seam gas extraction in the Surat Basin, Conference Paper, viewed 12 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3623.

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