Groundwater Research

Continuous improvement of knowledge and understanding of Queensland’s groundwater systems ensures their proper management and sustainable use by all those who rely on them.

The Surat Basin is the main location for Queensland’s expanding coal seam gas (CSG) gas industry and as such, has also been the focus of much of the groundwater research efforts. The current research initiatives include:

OGIA have carried out a number of technical studies in the Surat Cumulative Management Area (Surat CMA [see map]), the results of which underpin the 2021 Surat Underground Water Impact Report and the ongoing assessment of groundwater impacts.

OGIA’s studies currently relate to the nature of groundwater flow systems, hydrogeological and geological investigations, groundwater flow modelling, interconnectivity of aquifers, and springs assessment.

GISERA has been formed to provide independent scientific research to contribute to a desire by community, government and industry alike for additional information on Australia’s growing onshore gas industry. Research topics have included:

Part of GISERA’s ongoing bodies of research aim to improve the understanding of regional groundwater flows and management of groundwater impacts. Its current members are CSIRO, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, Australia Pacific LNG, the New South Wales Government, QGC, the South Australian Government, Santos, the Queensland Government, Origin and the Northern Territory Government.

UQ-CNG’s research has produced a publicly available web-based atlas of water chemistry which provides insights into coal seam hydrology and potential interactions with other aquifers; improves our understanding of processes controlling water chemistry in coal seams and other aquifers; and refines water monitoring design.

The Centre’s water research program is currently focused on improving our understanding of the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) by using new data available from the coal seam gas (CSG) industry drilling and production activity. Work by UQ and partner organisations like OGIA is demonstrating how springs are connected to either local recharge or GAB aquifers, recharge is less effective to GAB aquifers than previously thought, and GAB aquifers show far more complicated aquifer flow patterns than previous understood.

QUT’s Centre for the Environment’s Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Program develops technologies and processes to enable effective environmental management solutions. The Centre’s program focuses on water, soil and air monitoring and remediation, in the following research fields: