Underground Water 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 in 2011 primarily in response to coal seam gas development, and that’s the Surat Cumulative Management Area (see map below).

In January 2020, the Surat CMA was amended to include, in future UWIRs, impacts from coal mining tenures located within the Surat and Clarence-Moreton basins.

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