>> What happens to all the water that is extracted from these seams and who is responsible for treating it?
Resource companies have an obligation under their EA to manage water extracted in obtaining the gas. Under current legislation a list of preferred uses exists for ‘beneficial use’ of this water, which may involve irrigation, stock watering, industry use (i.e. coal washing) or reverse osmosis.
A resource company is required to test and treat (if required) the water, to a standard
determined by the State Government , before the water can be used. Each company may have preferred methods or conditions under their EA so seek confirmation from them or read their EA.
>> What is ‘Make Good’ and how are impacts defined for my groundwater?
‘Make Good’ is the government response to the potential impacts of CSG activities on
groundwater supplies. Basically, if a landholder’s bore experiences ‘impaired capacity’
(i.e. can no longer supply the same quantity or quality prior to CSG effects) as a result of CSG activities, then the government will direct a resource company to ‘Make Good’ the supply under the Water Act 2000. Impacts from CSG activities on bores may include a drop in standing water level, available pressure, quantity and quality (quality only applies under ‘make good’ where it is as a direct result of a change in volume or pressure) of water.
>> What if my water is contaminated and it is not as a result of a drop in pressure or volume?
If your bore becomes contaminated as a result of activities by a CSG company, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) has the authority under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1994, to prosecute CSG operators for serious breaches of operating standards and impose clean-up/rehabilitation requirements. Under the EPA a resource company is required to rehabilitate and restore the source to the original condition, essentially the same requirements as ‘Make Good’ under the Water Act.
>> If I don’t want to rely on the government and resource companies, what can I do as a landholder to secure my water?
The more information you gather about your property condition and bores, both prior to
and during CSG activities, the better. It is recommended that landholders undertake their
own baseline bore assessment. By having your bores independently assessed by a suitably
qualified individual it may provide credible baseline data should any impacts to bores be
disputed in the future. Your own assessments may also provide information that can assist your property planning.
>> Where can I find out more about CSG and my rights?
AgForce Projects has been providing free CSG information sessions to landholders across the Surat, Bowen and Galilee Basins since 2011. The sessions provide an independent analysis and review of your rights and responsibilities under the current legislative framework, conduct and compensation agreement negotiations as well as tips on property planning, mapping, recording on-property impacts and keeping quality environmental baseline records. AgForce Projects also provides computer mapping workshops that are free for all Queensland landholders.
Click here to view upcoming events.
The CSG Project is delivered by AgForce Projects with the support of the Queensland Government, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Queensland Resources Council and the GasFields Commission Queensland.