Redefining CSG 'Waste' Water: New Opportunities for Managed Aquifer Recharge
(2018) 35 EPLJ 188
Posted: 14 Jun 2018 Last revised: 28 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 6, 2018
Despite calls for increased gas exploration and development, water impacts by coal seam gas (CSG) projects are a continuing concern for many. Apart from fears about hydraulic fracturing, key tensions relate to the quantity of water co-produced with the gas. Some projects in Queensland, Australia, have been required to conduct aquifer injection trials with the CSG produced water: essentially, government-mandated Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). MAR is usually associated with other types of excess surface water. Aquifer injection of CSG produced water is potentially a key opportunity for the process. Despite this, the issues around injection of CSG produced water have not been considered in the developing policy frameworks for MAR. This article suggests that further research in respect of the regulatory frameworks governing aquifer injection in the CSG industry could guide regulatory reform not only relating to the CSG industry but also in respect of MAR projects generally.
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