Springsure and Taroom Field Days

Springsure and Taroom Groundwater Field Days

Landholders in the Springure and Taroom regions attended field days in June 2014 to discuss regional CSG and mining activities and predictions for groundwater impacts. The field day discussed regional hydrogeology, the make good (MG) process and provided landholders with an overview of how groundwater investigations work.

Taroom

Click here to access the handouts from the day.

Daniel Phipps, CSG Project Officer, AgForce Projects
Daniel has a background in environmental science and coupled with his previous experience with environmental compliance issues working for a mining consultancy, Daniel has valuable industry knowledge. CSG Groundwater Field Day presentation

David Free, Chief Hydrogeologist, Groundwater Investigation and Assessment, CSG Compliance Unit
David has some 40 years’ experience undertaking groundwater investigations, assessment and management across the State with a strong emphasis in the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) in South. CSG Groundwater Field Day presentation

Justin Carpenter, Manager, Energy Regulation and Implementation, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) Make Good Framework presentation

Key information

Target seams Moura-Banana (Eastern margins): 
Baralaba Coal Measures 
  • Outcrop near Dawson/Moura Mine then dip down to 1200-1500m throughout western Bowen Basin.
  • Sealing above aquitard is the Rewan formation/group.
  • Closest GAB aquifer is the Clematis sandstone, separated by Rewan Formation/group. 
Target seams Roma-Injune-Springsure:
Bandanna Coal Measures 700-1000m 
  • Sealing aquitard above is the Rewan Formation/Group. 
  • Closest GAB aquifer is Precipice Sandstone. 
  • Near Injune the Precipice Sandstone comes in contact with the Bandanna formation. 
Target seams Taroom
Walloon Coal Measures 200-900m
  • Around Taroom and the Southern regions, the Surat Basin is the sedimentary area and the target seams are the Walloon Coal Measures, which are typically 200 - 900m deep. These are the same seams that are targeted by the CSG industry for the rest of the Surat Basin. 
  • The Surat Basin Cumulative Management Area (CMA) encompasses all tenures west of Moura and across to Springsure. The Surat Basin UWIR predicts drawdowns to the Bandanna Formation and Walloon Coal Measures (WCM) - both target coal seams but not to any other aquifers in the Bowen Basin, i.e. Clematis Sandstone. In the Surat Basin the model predicts impacts to the Springbok, Hutton and Precipice Sandstones. 

  • The Surat Basin Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR) is a groundwater model that predicts impacts to aquifers and landholder bores as a result of CSG activities over the life of the industry. The model was released in 2012 and identified two areas; an immediately affected area (IAA) and a long term affected area (LTAA). 
    • The IAA includes 85 registered bores.
    • The LTAA includes 528 registered bores.
    • Bores are identified in the model to be impacted when they are predicted to experience a drop in water level beyond a trigger threshold (5m for consolidated aquifers, 2m for unconsolidated and .2m for springs). 
    • The model is updated every three (3) years with a new model expected in 2015 and an annual review of the model is conducted in-between. 
What is make good? 
  • Make good refers to a company’s obligation to restore a groundwater supply if it has been or is predicted to be impacted by CSG activities, such as a drop in pressure or water level beyond a set trigger level, or when that drop impacts on the authorised use of the bore.
Make good can be:
  • Deepening a bore
  • Providing a larger pump or increasing the capacity 
  • Drilling a new bore into another aquifer 
  • Providing compensation 
  • Providing surface water 
  • Landholders should ensure that if they are negotiating a make good agreement that they get appropriate advice. Under legislation a landholders reasonable legal, accounting and valuation costs are reimbursable by the company. There is also a legislated negotiation process including mediation and court options. 
  • Landholders are encouraged to use the expertise within the CSG Compliance Unit Groundwater Investigation Team (GIAT) at csg.enquiries@dnrm.qld.gov.au or call (07) 4529 1500.
Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
Does a landholder need a license to drill a bore into the Precipice Sandstone?
Answer: 
From Daniel Larson, DNRM, Principal Project Officer, Hydrology.
Yes – under the GAB water resource plan, a landholder would require a water licence to take water from the Precipice Sandstone for stock/domestic purposes. The landholder/CSG company could drill a new stock/domestic bore into the Precipice as a make good measure. They would still need to apply for a water licence but there wouldn’t generally be any impediments unless it was with 5km of a spring.  I would probably suggest that if that was going to be an option in a make good agreement, they could apply for a water licence at that time, before needed – as an issued water licence is permanent authorisation, which would transfer to any subsequent owners of the property.

Question:
Are contamination of water ways covered by make good provisions? 
Answer: 
No, make good under the Water Act (2000) only covers underground water impacts as a result of CSG activities. CSG companies have conditions applied to their environmental authority (EA) which includes contamination of waterways as well as conditions of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 and the Environmental Protection Act 1994 which they are also bound by. If landholders have any concerns they should contact the CSG Compliance unit; Email csg.enquiries@dnrm.qld.gov.au
Phone (07) 4529 1500

Question:
What happens if my property is not covered by a tenure but I believe my bore is experiencing an impact because of nearby CSG activities? 
Answer: 
If your bore is within the Surat Basin Cumulative Management Area (CMA) then any potential impacts to your bore should have been identified in the CMA groundwater model. However regardless if a bore is modelled to be impacted or not the rights a landholder has are the same. This means that the landholder should contact the CSG Compliance Unit and provide all information to them. This is where baseline assessments are priceless. If the unit believes there is potential for impact then a groundwater investigation may be directed and if the impacts are confirmed to be as a result of CSG then the responsible company is required to negotiate a make good agreement with the landholder. 

Question: 
How much water is being extracted? 
Answer: 
According to the Surat Basin UWIR (2012) the CSG industry is expected to extract approximately 95,000 megalitres (ML) of water per year over the life of the industry. 

Springsure

Click here to access the handouts from the day.

Daniel Phipps, CSG Project Officer, AgForce Projects
Daniel has a background in environmental science and coupled with his previous experience with environmental compliance issues working for a mining consultancy, Daniel has valuable industry knowledge. CSG Groundwater Field Day presentation

David Free, Chief Hydrogeologist, Groundwater Investigation and Assessment, CSG Compliance Unit
David has some 40 years’ experience undertaking groundwater investigations, assessment and management across the State with a strong emphasis in the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) in South. CSG Groundwater Field Day presentation

Daniel Larsen, Principal Project Officer, Hydrology, Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) Managing the impacts of coal mining on underground water presentation

Key information

Target seams Roma-Injune-Springsure 
Bandanna Coal Measures 700-1000m 
  • Sealing aquitard above is the Rewan Formation/Group. 
  • Closest GAB aquifer is Precipice Sandstone 
  • Near Injune the Precipice Sandstone comes in contact with the Bandanna formation 
CSG activities in the Surat Basin are not going to affect groundwater systems in the Bowen Basin (Surat Basin UWIR 2012). 

Unlike the Surat Basin, the Bowen Basin does not form part of the GAB. 

Currently coal companies and their activities do not come under the same requirements of the Water Act (2000) in terms of make good provisions as they apply to CSG companies. Make Good provisions for groundwater impacts as a result of the coal mining process are addressed either through the environmental authority (EA) for the mine or the water license issued as part of the dewatering process for coal mining. The government is currently reviewing the Water Act (2000) with the intend of designing a make good framework similar to that for CSG industry which will apply to new coal mines. It is anticipated this will include requirements to develop Underground Water Impact Reports (UWIR) identifying immediate and long term affected areas, requirements for bore assessments to be carried out and also make good agreements to be negotiated before impacts occur. 

Below are a series of groundwater maps that are part of the environmental impact statement (EIS) groundwater model that they put forward to seek approval from government for the mine (Springsure Creek). These show the bores in the area and also the expected draw down effect as a result of mining operations. 
Figure 60 shows the maximum drawdown in the Basalt aquifers over the next 100 years as a result of mining operations.

Click here to see the maximum drawdown in A2 Seam as a result of mining operations 40 years after commencement of operations.

Click here to see the location of groundwater bores in the mine region and details the aquifer/formation that it taps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: 
Are contamination of water ways covered by make good provisions? 
Answer: 
No, make good under the Water Act (2000) only covers underground water impacts as a result of CSG activities. CSG companies have conditions applied to their environmental authority (EA) which includes contamination of waterways as well as conditions of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 and the Environmental Protection Act 1994 which they are also bound by. 

Question: 
What happens if my property is not covered by a tenure but I believe my bore is experiencing an impact because of nearby CSG activities? 
Answer: 
If your bore is within the Surat Basin Cumulative Management Area (CMA) then any potential impacts to your bore should have been identified in the CMA groundwater model. However regardless if a bore is modelled to be impacted or not the rights a landholder has are the same. This means that the landholder should contact the CSG Compliance Unit and provide all information to them. If they believe there is potential for impact then a groundwater investigation may be directed and if the impacts are confirmed to be as a result of CSG then the responsible company is responsible to negotiate a make good agreement with the landholder. 

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.
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