Government approval of policy/process development.
That before any further production approvals are granted, a regional water assessment be conducted as part of a SREBA for any prospective shale gas basin, commencing with the Beetaloo Sub-basin. The regional assessment should focus on surface and groundwater quality and quantity (recharge and flow), characterisation of surface and groundwater-dependent ecosystems, and the development of a regional groundwater model to assess the effects of proposed water extraction of the onshore shale gas industry on the dynamics and yield of the regional aquifer system.
To be completed by end December 2021.
Action item updates
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has started developing a regional groundwater model for the Beetaloo Sub-basin, as part of the Strategic Regional Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA), to be completed before any production approvals are granted.
The groundwater model will be further developed in cooperation with the Commonwealth Government's Geological and Bioregional Assessment of the Beetaloo Sub-basin.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will undertake similar water assessments of other areas prospective for gas activities as they are identified for potential development.