‘The water trigger has been established specifically so large coal mining and coal seam gas projects that will affect water resources are subjected to proper scrutiny.’
A respected hydrogeologist has raised serious questions about the water plan for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, leading the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) to call on Environment Minister Sussan Ley to apply the federal water trigger to the project.
Flinders University’s Professor Adrian Werner, one of the top hydrogeologists in the country, has assessed a report by consultants CDM Smith, which Adani relies on to maintain that its North Galilee Water Scheme (NGWS) does not warrant full federal scrutiny.
Professor Werner finds the CDM Smith report ‘focuses on the effect of NGWS on peak flood events, whereas the NGWS pumping will impact small-to-medium flooding events. The effect on the latter is not properly addressed.’
Professor Werner finds ‘in most of the presented hydrographs, modelling results show an over-estimation of low flows (i.e., the model predicts low flows that are higher than they are in reality)’ and that ‘statements about impact in the report are based almost exclusively on whether peak flows are impacted or not.’
ACF campaigner, Christian Slattery, said Adani’s water grab should be fully assessed by the Federal Minister under national environment laws.
“Adani has again been caught out using best case scenarios for its environmental modelling and cherry-picking data that will lead to conclusions that suit the company,” he said.
“The water trigger has been established specifically so large coal mining and coal seam gas projects that will affect water resources are subjected to proper scrutiny.
“Adani planning to take 12.5 billion litres of water out of an ephemeral river in regional Queensland while the state suffers through an unprecedented drought is a textbook example of when the water trigger should be applied – we urge Minister Ley to apply it.”
Adani has been forced to re-start the application process for its water scheme because ACF won a Federal Court appeal against the previous assessment of the scheme, with the Federal Government conceding the case, admitting it failed to properly consider public submissions.
Read ACF’s submission to Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley