Groundwater Monitoring

Consistently obtained groundwater levels and groundwater chemistry measurements over time can provide valuable insights into how particular aquifers are functioning, and collectively assess the groundwater system.

Across the petroleum and gas producing regions of Queensland there are four extensive groundwater monitoring networks that serve different functions (see table below):

Monitoring Network Network's Function
  • Designed and maintained by DRDMW as a community-based monitoring group to help landholders in resource development areas monitor groundwater levels in their own bores and better understand the groundwater resource
  • Compliments the Groundwater Online Network.
  • Community focused network of strategically located artesian and subartesian bores designed and maintained by DRDMW
  • To monitor key formations in and around the coal seam gas (CSG) footprint using continuous monitoring loggers and telemetry
  • Loggers measure water levels every 15 minutes and telemetry to send the data directly to the Groundwater Database (GWDB).
  • Designed by the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) and implemented (constructed, operated and maintained) by resource companies operating within Queensland's onshoire gas industry to establish background groundwater level trends, understand how the groundwater system works and how it is responding to current and will respond to future CSG development
  • Specified in the Water Monitoring Strategy (WMS) within the Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR) for the Surat Cumulative Management Area (Surat CMA).

DRDMW hosts a ‘Landholder Monitoring Network‘ where volunteers collect / submit data from their bores. To join, contact:

The different types of monitoring installations that are used to collect groundwater data from within the Surat CMA are illustrated below:

Schematic of monitoring installation types in the Surat CMA

Data source: Underground Water Impact Report 2021 for the Surat Cumulative Management Area – Consultation Draft.

Other Monitoring Networks

Resource companies are obligated to monitor groundwater levels and quality to meet their Environmental Authorities (EA) legislative requirements administered by the Department of Environment and Science (DES), and Commonwealth approval conditions under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

For example, a groundwater monitoring program is developed for each EA based on findings of a site-specific risk assessment which considers risks to groundwater associated with authorised activities.

The risks are determined based on site setting, authorised petroleum activities, potential pathways for groundwater impact, as well as the consequences and likelihood of that impact.

A network of groundwater monitoring bores is installed in approved locations around relevant site infrastructure that poses a significant risk to groundwater in accordance with the tenure specific EA.

For more information visit the DES website to download the ‘Eligibility criteria and standard conditions for resource activities‘.


Important resources

  1. Options for Dispute Resolution
  2. Make Good Agreement Process
  3. GFCQ Baseline Assessment Checklist
  4. GFCQ Bore Assessment Checklist
  5. GFCQ Fact sheet: Make Good Agreements for bore owners
  6. Underground Water Impact Reports
  7. FAQs – Make Good Obligations (Department of Environment and Science)
  8. Make Good Agreements and Quick Guide – Make Good Obligations (Department of Environment and Science)
  9. Underground waterBaseline Assessment Plans, Baseline Assessment Guidelines, Bore Assessments, Bore Assessment Guidelines (Department of Environment and Science)
  10. ‘Coal Seam Gas Information for Community and Landholders’ (Department of Environment and Science)
  11. Current UWIR for the Surat CMA (Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment)
  12. Other Approved UWIRs (Department of Environment and Science)
  13. Is your bore predicted to be impacted? (Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment)