Aug 3 2012
After months of wrangling with the Namoi Water Study, the tremendous detail, the failures to address the Terms of Reference and now the hijacking of the findings by the Minister for Mining, the Maules Creek community is wondering where to from here.
The findings were that there would be a maximum drawdown of 2.5 meters in Maules Creek (Zone 11) due to mining in drier times. (See below graphic taken from Table 5.8 page 66 of the final study report).
The fact that in drier times most people in Maules Creek have less than 2.5 meters of water in their stock and domestic bores is omitted.
The simplistic media comments by the consultants, Schlumberger, who said that there is little impact of mining on groundwater at a regional scale is a joke.
What Schlumberger actually said in their report about Maules Creek is that the “Upper Namoi Alluvium Zone 11 actually shows quite a high sensitivity to the tested inputs, but a significant increase in impacts is predicted only with the drier climate scenario.”
Unfortunately the evidence in the arctic and elsewhere of the likely climate change trajectory means that we are headed for much drier times. By digging up more coal at Maules Creek we are only adding more fuel to that fire.