Water is a critical resource for both agriculture and the gas industry


Water is one of the most important substances on earth.

It is also a limited resource and groundwater plays a critical role in Australia’s water needs.

That’s why it has to be carefully managed.

It is a critical resource for both agriculture and the gas industry with most groundwater in Queensland being used for agricultural purposes.

Data sources: see Shared Landscapes, Chapter 5: Groundwater

In Queensland, groundwater resources are monitored and researched extensively by:

The Petroleum Act 1923 and the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 give resource companies the right to extract groundwater in the process of extracting petroleum and gas.

In the case of unconventional gas, that process requires the removal of water from coal seams to reduce pressure on the seam and allow gas to escape.

The water removed in the gas extraction process is treated and re-used for a variety of applications including irrigation, town water, reinjection into the aquifer or industrial projects.

Any existing water bores impacted by that extraction process may be eligible for a make good agreement.

Before any gas development occurs, a baseline assessment must be undertaken by the resource company. Baseline assessments measure the performance of authorised bores in the area and provide a reference point for subsequent bore assessments.

For an understanding of each party’s responsibilities for completing a baseline assessment, download our checklist for baseline assessments (PDF 165 KB).

A water bore may also be identified in an underground water impact report (UWIR) as being in a long term affected area (LTAA) that may at some time in the future exceed the bore trigger threshold.

Groundwater Research

Improving our knowledge and understanding of Queensland's groundwater systems is ensuring the proper management and long term sustainability of vital sectors like agriculture and the onshore gas industry.

CSG Produced Water

Coal seam gas (CSG) production requires the extraction of water in order to lower the pressure in the coal seam sufficiently to allow the gas to flow up the gas well to the surface.

Groundwater Systems

Understanding the groundwater systems in the coal seam gas (CSG) producing areas of Queensland is important to ensure that existing groundwater resources are not depleted.

Impaired Private Water Bores

If a private water bore becomes impaired due to resource activity, it may be eligible for make good measures by the resource company.

Need to contact someone?

Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Department of Environment and Science