3.7 Conclusion


The impact and risk analysis used Queensland’s Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) groundwater model, which was adapted for bioregional assessments (BAs), to identify where water resources and water-dependent assets are very unlikely to be impacted (less than 5% chance), or are potentially impacted. Water-dependent landscapes and assets, such as rivers, wetlands and groundwater systems, were ruled out using a threshold of at least a 5% chance of greater than 0.2 m drawdown due to additional coal resource development. This threshold is consistent with the most conservative minimal impact thresholds in NSW and Queensland state regulations, and is close to the practical resolution limits of modelled and measured drawdown.

The impact and risk analysis allows governments, industry and the community to focus on areas that are potentially impacted and apply local-scale modelling when making regulatory, water management and planning decisions. BAs have been developed so that they can be updated. The data, information, analytical results and models from this Assessment provide a comprehensive basis for subregion-scale re-assessment of potential impacts under an updated coal resource development pathway (CRDP). It may also be applicable for other types of resource development.

Further work should focus on identified knowledge gaps, limitations and opportunities to improve confidence in predictions of impacts to ecosystems. This includes: (i) hydrological modelling – incorporating surface water modelling and better representation of surface water – groundwater interactions; (ii) assessing impacts in the landscape – developing receptor impact models to assess potential changes to ecosystems; (iii) model resolution – developing finer resolution models to improve local-scale analysis; and (iv) climate change and land use – including additional stressors to better predict cumulative impacts.

Last updated:
5 January 2018
Thumbnail of the Maranoa-Baloone-Condamine subregion

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