Bores Impaired by Gas Development

A water bore may be considered impaired if there is a decline in water level or free gas emerging through the bore.

Bores impaired by gas development

If a bore owner is concerned their water bore may have been impaired by gas development they should contact the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) .

If a bore impairment was not predicted in an approved underground water impact report (UWIR), DNRME may forward their investigation findings to the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

Under section 418 of the Water Act 2000, if the chief executive of DES reasonably believes a water bore can no longer supply a reasonable quantity or quality of water for its authorised use or purpose, the chief executive can require the resource company to carry out a bore assessment and enter into a make good agreement.

IAA: Immediately Affected Area. MGA: Make Good Agreement. ADR: Alternative Dispute Resolution. RTH: Responsible Tenure Holder.

Important considerations

Not all bores are automatically eligible for make good.

Make good measures are usually determined on the basis of impaired capacity and individual circumstances.

A bore that has not been actively used for many years, or is damaged and/or unworkable is unlikely to be considered impaired.

A bore should be in working condition to be considered for make good (be fitted with a working pump and producing water).

In the case where a bore is delivering water but not operating at its paper entitlement, a make good agreement can be measured against its actual capacity.

A bore assessment will determine the actual capacity of a bore and a make good agreement will generally be negotiated on that basis.

A make good agreement should be negotiated for all bores that have undergone a bore assessment.

Make good measures will only be considered in areas of petroleum or gas activity and where the resource company's activities cause or are likely to cause impairment of a bore.

Monitoring may be the preferred make good measure where a bore is not predicted to become impaired for a number of years.


Important resources:

Need to contact someone?

Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Department of Environment and Science