CSIRO commence baseline water sampling in the Beetaloo Sub-basin under the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA)

Issued 06 Dec 2018

Scientists from the CSIRO have commenced baseline water sampling in the Beetaloo Sub-basin region. Samples collected and analysed by CSIRO will ensure important data is available to government to inform decisions relating to water management and regulation.

Managing our valuable water and other environmental assets in regions that may be developed for gas requires a sound understanding of aquifers and surface water systems. The Inquiry recognised that this detailed knowledge needs improving in many parts of the Territory.

CSIROs Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) is undertaking water monitoring and groundwater research of the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer System to establish baseline measurements and indicators to improve our knowledge.

The CSIRO will collect data to assess groundwater quality and estimate groundwater recharge, flow rates and age. Data will be analysed to characterise the physical chemistry of the water, develop profiles of dissolved methane concentrations, establish baseline levels of water quality parameters and determine any exceedances of the relevant guidelines. Data is needed to quantify any potential impacts from gas exploration and to assist the NT Government in the development of water allocation plans.

This comprehensive water sampling and monitoring regime is an important element of the ongoing commitment of the Northern Territory Government to build a comprehensive log of baseline data in the Beetaloo Sub-basin. Research information will be reported in detail and made available to the public.

Commencing in October, water sampling will continue this month, with samples being collected from up to 25 bores located in the Beetaloo Sub-basin. The water quality assessment is due to be completed by February 2019.

Information about the recommendations specific to baseline monitoring can be found in the reform area of Safeguarding Water and the Environment.

To read the GISERA Water Research Factsheet, click here

To read the Project Proposal for groundwater baseline assessment, click here

All GISERA research outputs, fact sheets and video updates will be publically available to view and download at gisera.csiro