DNRM have confirmed that the updated Surat Cumulative Management Area Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR) will be released in draft by the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment in December 2015.
The UWIR 2012 is the basis for Make Good Agreements being negotiated throughout the Surat basin. A Make Good Agreement might provide for:
- further monitoring of a bore;
- decommissioning of affected bores and commissioning a replacement bore or bores;
- payment of compensation in lieu of a replacement bore.
The UWIR is a statutory instrument under the Water Act 2000 and by its operation imposes obligations on Coal Seam Gas companies based on their predicted impact on groundwater. Because the CSG industry has expanded since 2012 when the last UWIR was released, the new report will be vital to understanding proposed impacts on groundwater in the Surat basin. Matters for consideration in the 2015 revision of UWIR include:
- Whether the current modelling is accurate or whether a new model is required to be developed.
- Results of the regional water monitoring strategy and the future requirements of the strategy.
- Potential revision of the bores likely to be affected by the CSG industry.
- Further consideration of potentially impacts on underground springs.
The 2015 draft UWIR will be released for public comment in December. Bore owners should consider making a submission.