Robs Our Water

Adani will draw billions of litres of water from the Great Artesian and other precious basins, for free, threatening farmers and groundwater.

The scale of Adani’s mine, and the other nine mines proposed for the Galilee Basin, will have enormous and irreversible impacts on Queensland’s groundwater resources and risk the pollution of local rivers.

Adani’s mine will extract billions of litres of groundwater each year, causing irreversible damage to groundwater systems and producing a permanent drop in the water table around the mine site.

Adani’s mine will drain water from the rare Doongmabulla25 and Mellaluka springs - both ecologically significant, being over one million years old and supporting native flora and fauna26.

Adani will not be charged a cent for the water they will consume, while the Queensland government has stripped farmers of their rights to appeal against Adani taking their groundwater.


Billions of litres of our precious water will be sucked from groundwater systems and Queensland’s inland rivers over the life of Adani’s mine.


The water-hungry mine will result in up to 9,500 million litres of groundwater draining into the vast coal pits and underground mines each year27. Governments have bent over backwards to make sure Adani gets our groundwater, for free, including by stripping farmers of their rights to appeal against Adani taking their groundwater28.

Groundwater systems will be permanently changed and the water table will drop, robbing local farmers and potentially draining water from the rare and ancient Doongmabulla and Mellaluka springs29 which support native plants and animals30.

Water will be drawn from aquifers to allow Adani to dig deep for coal. This water will be sprayed onto the mine to try contain billowing clouds of coal dust this project will generate. It will also be used to wash the coal in preparation for export.

And this is just the beginning. Adani’s rail line paves the way for nine mines in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Together these mines create even greater risks for Queensland’s water resources. They will also release unwanted waste water from mine operations, such as coal washing, into local waterways, creating a real threat of pollution from heavy metals and other toxins.

Ultimately our precious water that has taken millions of years to accumulate will either evaporate or sit in polluted pools around the mine sites, squandered on mines that we do not need and stolen from long term industries like agriculture.

The mine also puts our river systems and downstream farmers who rely on river flows at risk. The mine will extract up to 12,000 million litres of water a year from Queensland waterways, diverting up to 720 billion litres away from creeks and rivers over the life of the mine31.

The proposed Galilee mines create a real risk that the already drought ravaged state of Queensland will have less water for farmers, damaging their capacity to grow food and animal feed.

Once this water is gone it cannot be restored - even after Adani has closed the mine for good and gone home. The costs will be borne by our children and grandchildren.

Footnotes

25. Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Doongmabaulla Springs DIWA nationally important wetland, available at: http://wetlandinfo.ehp.qld.gov.au/wetlands/facts-maps/diwa-wetland-doongmabulla-springs/
26. Expert Report on groundwater impacts to the Land Court by Dr John Webb as part of proceedings in Land Services of Coast and Country Inc & Ors. v Adani Mining Pty Ltd (2015). Available at: http://envlaw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/carmichael9.pdf
27. Calculated based on 26ML/day inflows into open cut and underground mines in year 2029. Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project SEIS (Nov 2013) Mine Hydrogeology Report, Appendix K1.
28. Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, Qld Labor exempts Adani mine from public submission and appeals on groundwater, 9 November 2016
29. Expert Report on groundwater impacts to the Land Court by Dr John Webb as part of proceedings in Land Services of Coast and Country Inc & Ors. v Adani Mining Pty Ltd (2015). Available at: http://envlaw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/carmichael9.pdf
30. Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, Land Court delivers Adani Carmichael coal mine recommendation, 15 December 2015
31. Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project SEIS (Nov 2013), Updated Mine Project Description, Appendix B, P. 82