Underground Water Impact Reports

An Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR) predicts where, and the extent to which, water pressure/level will decline in aquifers impacted by petroleum and gas extraction.

About impact reports

An underground water impact report (UWIR) identifies bores in a long-term affected area (LAA) that are predicted at any time in the future to exceed the bore trigger threshold:

  • a 5 metre decline in water level for a consolidated aquifer;
  • a 2 metre decline in water level for an unconsolidated aquifer; or 
  • a threshold set by regulation.

It also identifies bores in a subset of the LAA, called the immediately affected area (IAA), that are predicted to exceed the bore trigger thresholds within the next three years.

In the case where there are multiple petroleum tenures, with more than one tenure holder, adjacent to each other, the government may declare a cumulative management area (CMA) under Chapter 3 of the Water Act 2000.

To date, only one CMA has been declared in Queensland, and that's the Surat Cumulative Management Area (see map below).

The Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) is the statutory government body responsible for preparing and updating the UWIR for the Surat CMA.

The bores identified in the IAA must undergo a bore assessment and proceed through the make good process.

Important resources

  1. Impaired bores, bore assessments and make good agreements
  2. Fact sheet: Make good options for bore owners (PDF 382 KB)
  3. Quick Guide - Make good obligations (PDF 156 KB)
  4. Underground water - Baseline Assessment Plans, Baseline Assessment Guidelines and Bore Assessment Guidelines (Department of Environment and Science)
  5. Current UWIR for the Surat CMA (2019)
  6. Other approved UWIRs
  7. Find Your Bore – the Water Bore Search Tool
  8. Water monitoring data

The Surat Cumulative Management Area