Federal government must audit Adani’s water plans

The Australian Conservation Foundation has called on Environment Minister Sussan Ley to conduct an audit of the Adani mine’s water sources to make sure they all comply with national environment law.

The call follows concerns Adani may be planning to extract more groundwater than its licence permits and comments by Adani Australia’s CEO on Radio National Breakfast this morning that Adani’s water sources are ‘commercial in confidence’.

Last month ACF won a federal court case that re-affirmed the legitimacy of the ‘water trigger’ in Australia’s environment law and squashed Adani’s plans to take 12.5 billion litres of water a year from Queensland’s Suttor River to service its Carmichael coal mine.

“ACF’s recent federal court success means the Carmichael mine’s proposed water sources must be assessed under the national water trigger to determine their impact on the environment,” said ACF’s Gavan McFadzean.

“Australians are entitled to know exactly how much water Adani thinks it needs to build and operate its mega coal mine, where that water will come from and what the impact will be on surface and groundwater ecosystems.

“The federal government should audit all Adani’s water sources to make sure they have all been assessed under the water trigger and comply with national environmental law.

“Scientists have long feared Adani has significantly underestimated the impact its proposed groundwater extraction would have on the ancient Doongmabulla Springs.

“If Adani starts digging and exporting coal from the Galilee Basin it will damage water, communities and the climate.

“All coal is dirty and, when it is burned, worsens global heating, air pollution and health problems.”

Adani (now called Bravus) has a poor environmental record, with the company exceeding the permitted pollution discharge limit at its Abbot Point coal port by more than 800% and clearing koala habitat and black-throated finch habitat at the Carmichael mine site.

The water trigger in Australia’s national environment law applies when the Environment Minister decides a large coal mine or coal seam gas project will have, or is likely to have, a significant impact on a water resource.

Header pic: Doongmabulla Springs

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