Water Monitoring Framework
Water Monitoring Strategy for Coal Basins in NSW
Coal basin water monitoring locations
The Water Monitoring Strategy for Coal Basins in NSW has been developed to improve DPI Water’s understanding of groundwater behaviour in the NSW coal-bearing geological basins.
The strategy aims to collect monitoring data for groundwater and surface water in coal basins, and to understand the potential effects of extractive industries on water resources in these locations.
As part of the strategy, DPI Water is expanding the existing network of water monitoring infrastructure. This initiative will improve DPI Water’s knowledge of groundwater behaviour across NSW’s coal basins through the provision of better mapping, monitoring and management.
When complete, the data from the water monitoring sites will be shared with the community, government and industry, delivering a long-term benefit for multiple data users.
A total of $22.8 million has been allocated by the NSW Government to deliver the strategy, which is expected to be completed by 2020.
Work has commenced in the Gunnedah Basin, with work due to commence at Camden/Southern Coalfield and Hunter regions in the coming months.
Why expand the network of water monitoring locations?
Over time, NSW has established a network of over 4000 monitoring bores at more than 3000 locations across the state. These bores were built to collect information in areas of large-scale water use, traditionally irrigation. There is a need for the current network to be expanded into the coal basins
Expanding water monitoring points means improving the accuracy in measuring and monitoring in NSW coal basins. Collecting baseline data allows DPI Water to closely and accurately monitor change in water quality and quantity over time.
What work is required to create new water monitoring points?
Between 50-90 new deep water monitoring bores will be constructed in coal basins in NSW. See the map above for the selected locations of monitoring.
Monitoring points will be placed in both shallow and deep aquifers, measuring groundwater quality, level and pressure.
Through a rigorous selection process, DPI Water determines proposed bore sites. This process involves a combination of scientific data and a peer review. The proposed sites allow for accurate measurement of groundwater quality and changes over time.
A fact sheet (PDF, 283.01 KB) has been developed which contains further information on water monitoring, including site selection and equipment used.
How will the data be used?
The data obtained from the monitoring points will be collated and managed within DPI Water’s corporate water data systems. The data and derived information products will be available to all users through the internet. Some data will be available in real-time directly from a live feed from the water monitoring points. The data will be used by the Government to analyse any changes to water quality and quantity.
This information is not used for regulating nearby water use.
Work has already started at Gunnedah and work for the southern coalfield will commence shortly.
The southern coalfield covers the area from Camden to Moss Vale. Work will take place at locations on public land.
Construction of the bores is due to commence in the coming months and are expected to be complete within a number of months after commencement. A tender process will commence shortly to determine contractors to complete the drilling works.
For more information, a fact sheet (PDF, 277.7 KB) on the rollout and planned activities has been developed for the southern coalfields.
Alternatively check back in on this web page, which will be regularly updated as the water monitoring network expansion is rolled out across each area.
- Gunnedah Basin update (PDF, 170.14 KB)
- Expanding the water monitoring network fact sheet (PDF, 283.01 KB)
- Southern Coalfields fact sheet (PDF, 277.7 KB)
T: (02) 6024 8834