Great Artesian Basins: new body of knowledge

June 2018March 2020
The new resource will facilitate better decision making when formulating regulatory controls, mitigating risks and determining industry best practice. It will also help landholders and other groundwater users in the community have a better understanding about the system.

Great Artesian Basins: new body of knowledge

This research project will deliver an evidence-based body of knowledge for the Great Artesian Basins (GAB) to inform how to best manage this finite water resource into the future.

This will facilitate better decision making when formulating regulatory controls, mitigating risks and determining industry best practice. It will also help landholders and other groundwater users in the community have a better understanding about the system.

THE ISSUE: OUTDATED INFORMATION USED TO MAKE DECISIONS

This project aims to limit reliance on outdated models and concepts of the GAB, which are sometimes evident in discussions and decisions about the GAB.

Outdated models of the hydrogeological nature and connectivity of the GAB can give rise to incomplete and in some cases over-simplistic and/or incorrect understanding of the basin.

THE SOLUTION: MAKING IT EASIER TO FIND & VALIDATE LATEST KNOWLEDGE

Much new knowledge has been gained over the last 10 years. A large investment has been made in improving the scientific understanding of the GAB’s hydrogeology and socio-hydrogeological connections.

This knowledge is not all in one place and some is not peer reviewed. This makes it difficult for people to find the latest information and assess whether it is scientifically robust.

This project brings together the latest peer-reviewed science and research about the hydrogeological nature and connectivity of the GAB and provides new ways of conceptualising those parts of the GAB still lacking significant data.
It changes our understanding of key processes in the basin which may have impacts on the way we manage the resource.
It will put important new understandings about the workings of the GAB into the public domain.

THE PRODUCT: A BODY-OF-KNOWLEDGE

The resource collates advances in science and technology relating to the GAB. It revisits and updates the underpinning concepts with the most recent information now available, and puts important new understandings about the workings of the GAB into the public domain. It includes:

  • Water use & management
  • Structure & geology
  • Faults
  • Springs

The project will deliver general information on the GAB and update information about hydrological processes and groundwater resource management. It will also address perceived versus proved impacts from industries (e.g. gas, mining, agriculture) and climate change. Specific research programs and the knowledge gained during the intensive assessment prior to and during coal and gas extraction has greatly improved understanding in these areas.
The findings will be published in the Hydrogeology Journal, the key industry scientific journal of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) in late 2019 and early 2020. A new website is being created to house a series of factsheets and digital resources which have been developed to help inform the broader public about the resource.

COLLABORATION

This initiative is the result of an active collaboration between NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) and the UQ Centre for Coal Seam Gas (with its industry members Arrow Energy, APLNG and Santos), who jointly funded the project.

The University of Queensland Centre for Coal Seam Gas is ideally placed to lead this project due to the knowledge gained during its research program. Industry, government and research institutions partnered to bring together experts in the field to collate and disseminate tangible and scientifically rigorous advances in science and technology.

PROJECT OUTPUTS

  • To come - journal articles: Will include findings which will published in the Hydrogeology Journal, the key industry scientific journal of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) in late 2019 and early 2020.
  • To come - launch: at the Australiasian Groundwater Conference 2019 (27-27 November)
  • To come - website: A new website is being created to house a series of factsheets and digital resources which have been developed to help inform the broader public about the resource.
  • Research poster: UQ-CCSG Research Review (2018)
  • Project status: Underway
  • Project leader: Professor Neil McIntyre
  • Research team: Dr Carlos Miraldo Ordens Castelo Branco
  • Research group: The University of Queensland Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry & The University of Queensland Centre for Coal Seam Gas
  • Timeframe: June 2018 - March 2020
  • Project funders: APLNG, Arrow Energy, NERA, Santos, University of Queensland