This product is the final product to be released under this iteration of the Bioregional Assessment Programme for the Cooper subregion. The causal pathways conceptualised here provide a guide for future BA-type studies in the subregion. In addition, the gaps identified below should serve to provide an initial starting point for more detailed assessment of potential impacts from CSG development in the subregion.

The greatest knowledge gap in assessing the potential impact from CSG development in the Cooper subregion relates to the hydrogeological architecture around the Southern Cooper Basin Gas Project. Contributing to this is a lack of detailed understanding of the three-dimensional distribution of faults and other geological structures. Another key knowledge gap relates to the hydraulic parameters of Patchawarra Formation coal, intra-Patchawarra shale and upper Patchawarra Formation, and the hydraulic relationship with the abutting Hutton Sandstone, which will directly influence the inter-aquifer connectivity between the Cooper Basin and the Eromanga Basin.

This product presents a framework within which assessment of potential hazards from coal resource development in the CRDP identified for the Cooper subregion may be refined. Uncertainties around the well spacing, depth, production timeline and size of the CSG resource hamper the assessment of the impact of the CRDP, but do not significantly affect the identification of causal pathways and development of conceptual models for those pathways. Similar uncertainty exists around water production rates and water requirements for the CRDP.

Detailed surface water hydrology and geomorphological information would assist in refining the surface water causal pathway conceptual models. This includes the hydrology of Strzelecki Creek and the interaction between proposed storage ponds and the surface water network.

In order to progress the bioregional assessment work in the Cooper subregion, receptor impact modelling should be undertaken. This would be informed by work in the Galilee subregion, which shares some commonalities and overlaps with the Cooper subregion. This work would follow from the work reported in this product, and build upon increased knowledge specific to the Cooper CRDP. Receptor impact modelling for the Galilee subregion will be reported in companion product 2.7 for the Galilee subregion.

Last updated:
12 December 2018