Condamine producer, Randal Coggan
Landholders around Condamine in Queensland's Surat Basin are irrigating dryland country for the first time thanks to extra water desalinated and distributed from the region's coal seam gas (CSG) industry, according to a recent WIN TV News Toowoomba report.
WIN TV has reported the scheme is giving producers more water security to expand their operations. The story features a cattle backgrounding property and feedlot near Condamine.
Manager, Randal Coggan describes it as a “win-win opportunity” with the operation now growing oats for cattle feed where it wasn't possible before, thanks to the extra water treated and supplied by the CSG industry.
Local agronomist Nikolauz Fritz says the extra water has really ramped up agricultural production in the area. He says it has increased cotton, grains and even lucerne farming in the district …it shows what water can do... water is probably the limiting factor.
The story also reports that producers are calling for the lines of communication to be more open between landholders and the onshore gas industry.
Mr Coggan said divulging a bit more information about what's going on within their (gas) industry, it's for the public's interest in regards to the gas and the water, so everyone's well informed and can make better decisions.
More facts on treated groundwater from CSG
Earlier this year the GasFields Commission released a technical communication paper about the treatment and use of groundwater from the CSG industry in Queensland to assist community understanding.
The paper outlines how groundwater is produced as by-product of the CSG industry, how that groundwater is treated, regulated and monitored including for beneficial uses such as irrigation.
(The Condamine producer story by journalist Caitlin Holding was broadcast on WIN TV News Toowoomba on 21 May 2015.)