Bores Impaired by Gas Development

A water bore may be considered impaired if there is a decline in water level or free gas emerging through the bore.

Bores impaired by gas development

If a bore owner is concerned their water bore may have been impaired by gas development they should contact the CSG Compliance Unit.

If a bore impairment was not predicted in an approved UWIR, the CSG Compliance Unit may forward their investigation findings to the chief executive of the Department of Environment and Science.

Under section 418 of the Water Act 2000, if the chief executive reasonably believes a water bore can no longer supply a reasonable quantity or quality of water for its authorised use or purpose, the chief executive can require the petroleum tenure holder to carry out a bore assessment and enter into a make good agreement.


Dispute Resolution

A dispute may arise when the resource company and the water bore owner are unable to reach agreement regarding any of the following:

  • In determining if a water bore's capacity is impaired or is likely to be impaired by a petroleum and gas operation.
  • In drafting the terms and conditions of a make good agreement.
  • If a term or condition of an executed make good agreement needs to be revised/removed/amended.
  • Whether or not a party has reasonably complied with a term or condition of a make good agreement.

Either party can refer these disputes to the CSG Compliance Unit to try to resolve the dispute.

Alternatively, either party may seek a conference or an independent alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process under s426 of the Water Act 2000 (view our fact sheet for more information on dispute resolution options).

To seek a conference or an ADR, the requesting party must complete an election notice and provide a copy to the CSG Compliance Unit and the other party. If a conference is sought, authorised officers from the CSG Compliance Unit will conduct a conference to try to facilitate a resolution to the dispute.

If the parties are unable to resolve a dispute through either a conference or ADR, then either party may apply to the Land Court to decide the matter.

Make good agreements (including dispute resolution) are subject to s423(3) of the Water Act 2000, whereby the tenure holder is required to reimburse a bore owner for any accounting, legal or valuation costs that the bore owner has necessarily and reasonably incurred during the negotiation or preparation of a make good agreement. The exception to this requirement is the reimbursement for the costs of a facilitator in an ADR if requested by a bore owner.


Important resources

  1. How to make good
  2. Groundwater monitoring for resource impacts (Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy)
  3. Fact sheet: Options for Dispute Resolution (PDF 352 KB)
  4. Underground water (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection)
  5. Find your bore – the water bore search tool
  6. Water monitoring data