What if something happens to our water?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions when landowners are faced with mining or gas activity on their property. Water is an important part of business, and life, to any property owner and needs careful monitoring and management.
Mining and coal seam gas can take massive amounts of water from underground water supplies in the quest for profit. Not only may this affect quantity, but their activities may cause changes to the quality of water as well. Any Landowners concerned about their water supply should consider entering into a “Make Good” Agreement with the resource company. These agreements are to make arrangements to monitor the bore(s) to keep track of any changes to bore performance such as water quantity, quality and bore capacity. If the mine or gas activities is the cause of the changes, then the company must take steps to fix it, such as drilling a new bore or drilling an existing one deeper, or providing an alternate water supply or financial compensation.
Coal seam gas companies are already required to enter into these agreements with landowners. Changes to the law in late 2014, which have not yet come into effect but are expected to shortly, mean that coal companies will soon have these obligations as well.
It is important to start negotiating your Make Good Agreement as early as possible. It takes well over a year to accurately collect data from your bore for a proper baseline to be done. The earlier and better the data is from your bore, the better evidence you will have for later if there is any later problems with your water source. Early action is best.