Hydrology expert flushes Adani’s dismal groundwater plan

Published: March 29, 2019

An independent review has uncovered severe limitations with Adani’s latest groundwater management plan for its Carmichael Mine, which must still be approved by both the Queensland and Federal Governments.

The review, conducted by Dr Matthew Currell of RMIT, found Adani has still not conducted key research that is required to address uncertainty and ensure that 187 Great Artesian Basin spring wetlands (the Doongmabulla Springs) do not dry up as a result of the coal mine.

Dr Currell’s review also shows Adani’s proposed monitoring network will have limited ability to detect drainage in the Springs until it is potentially too late to make any changes that could prevent such drawdown.

The review follows the release of the Federal Government’s Galilee Basin Bioregional Assessment, which highlighted that the likely drawdown on the springs may exceed Adani’s estimates.

The Bioregional Assessment also noted there were still data discrepancies with regard to the source aquifer of the Springs and still key data and knowledge gaps in relation to the impacts of mining on Galilee Basin water resources.   

Lock the Gate spokesperson Carmel Flint said the Federal Government is set to make a decision on the Adani groundwater ecosystem management plan and urged them not to approve it.    

“Much of the public pressure from Adani has been on the Qld Government, and yet Adani cannot start construction until the water management plan is approved by both the state and the federal governments,” she said. 

“Dr Currell’s review and the Federal Government’s own Bioregional Assessment data released late last year, indicate that the science on the risks to the springs is still so uncertain that the plan should not be approved. 

“We’re calling on the Federal Government to reject the plan and to send it back to Adani to require extensive seismic surveys to properly identify the threat to Great Artesian Basin springs.

“This is now Adani’s tenth attempt at its water management plan and each draft has been a dismal failure.

“Following news this week that Adani has been fined for pollution of wetlands at its Abbot Pt coal terminal and is still being prosecuted for another event, it’s clear that this company cannot be trusted with Queensland’s water” she said.

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Content on this site is authorised by Georgina Woods for Lock the Gate Alliance, Lismore NSW.