The Santos GLNG Project today officially launched an Australian-first initiative which will make all the company’s Surat and Bowen Basin water testing results available for the community to view.
Santos GLNG President Mark Macfarlane said the company’s online water portal represented a strong commitment to openness, accountability and environmental excellence in the sustainable development of Australia’s resources industry.
“From today, all members of the community will be able to access the results of all our water quality and bore level testing throughout our CSG operations in the Surat and Bowen Basins,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“We have done this because we want to be completely open and accountable with the community in relation to the impact of CSG activities on water quality and groundwater levels.
“We are confident these results will show that our work is not adversely impacting the aquifers from where farmers draw their water. We believe it will demonstrate that CSG can proceed in a sustainable way, in a manner that will have no impact on the viability of the Great Artesian Basin, as extensive scientific research has concluded.”
The portal shows results from more than 100 monitoring locations at which the Santos GLNG Project monitors surface and groundwater. Users will be able to access information on surface and subsurface water quality test results for aquifers and view water bore levels. The information will be updated quarterly.
“Santos began monitoring surface water quality back in 1999 in Roma, so we already have 10 years’ worth of data against which we can compare new results,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“However we are now also monitoring water pressures in local aquifers that lie around the areas of planned coal seam gas operations in Roma, Fairview and Arcadia.
“This is a critical part of our commitment to being transparent and open with the landholders and communities in which we operate. We are very proud of this new initiative, and will continue to demonstrate our environmental credentials building on 50 years of operating safely and in partnership with the community within the Roma region.”
Mr Macfarlane said the Water Portal was just the latest in a range of Santos GLNG Project initiatives designed to protect and enhance water resources for regional communities.
“We have invested heavily in water infrastructure over the last few years to ensure we are wellprepared for the growth of our operations. This includes initiatives to ensure the benefits of our investment in treating the CSG water are shared with landholders and the community,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“We recently announced the start of the Mount Hope Station Irrigation Project, which will provide around 700 mega litres of treated CSG water to a local landholder – essentially drought proofing their property.
“It also allows landholders to increase significantly the productivity of their land by up to 25 fold during CSG water production.
“The water that we are drawing from is between around 500 metres and 1000 metres underground and it is currently not able to be used for agriculture as it is too saline.
“We desalinate it so that it can be used for a range of purposes, and it is actually much cleaner than the water farmers draw from the shallow aquifers.
“We will be making more announcements in the future about how we will be using treated CSG water to help add value to landholders and communities in which we operate.”
Source: Santos, October 31, 2011