2.3.1 Methods


The conceptual model of causal pathways characterises the causal pathway, the logical chain of events ‒ either planned or unplanned ‒ that link coal resource development and potential impacts on water and water-dependent assets. This section details the specific application to the Hunter subregion of methods described in the companion submethodology M05 (as listed in Table 1) for developing a conceptual model of causal pathways (Henderson et al., 2016). It closely follows these methods.

Key concepts and terminology are explained, and the overall steps are summarised: (i) synthesis of the key system components, processes and interactions for the geology, hydrogeology and surface water of the subregion; (ii) landscape classification; (iii) definition of the baseline coal resource development (baseline) and the coal resource development pathway (CRDP); (iv) hazard analysis; and (v) description of the causal pathways that potentially link baseline and CRDP coal resource developments to subregion assets via hydrological pathways.

Consultation with mining companies, state agencies and other external stakeholders were important for refining the conceptual understanding of key system components, processes and interactions; identifying and rating the coal resource development hazards relevant to the Hunter subregion; defining the baseline and additional coal resource developments; and identifying the relevant causal pathway groupings in the Hunter subregion.

Last updated:
18 January 2019