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Basin-wide groundwater vulnerability assessment: a GIS based DRASTIC approach to the problem of coal seam gas extracted water

1 School of Population Health, the University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
2 School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
3 Public Health Dorset, Princes House, Princes Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1TP, UK
4 Primary Care & Population Sciences, the University of Southampton, UK

Coal seam gas (CSG) production requires the extraction of large volumes of water. Discharges of the extracted water into the environment occur via authorised temporary permits or through accidental releases. The purpose of this study is to assess the risk to shallow groundwater aquifers from potential CSG water releases in Queensland, Australia. A GIS based methodology was used to identify vulnerable shallow aquifers by overlaying a series of risk factors, which increase the likelihood of flow from the ground surface into aquifers below. We identified where the vulnerable aquifers are located and estimate that about 10,000 people live in these areas. The GIS based exposure mapping approach applied here provides a useful ‘first-pass’ assessment of areas with CSG activity. Areas identified as potentially high risk should be prioritised for further detailed investigation.
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Copyright Info: © 2017, Maryam Navi, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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