Water reporting for coal and mineral activities

Water reporting requirements depend on whether the water is 'associated' or 'non-associated'.

  • Associated water is any underground water that you take or interfere with while (or as a result of) carrying out an authorised activity on your resource authority (e.g. mine dewatering activities).
  • Non-associated water is any other underground water that is taken (e.g. taken from a water bore for use in mine operations).

This page explains how to meet your reporting obligations under Queensland mining and water legislation.

Use the menu below to find out about your water reporting and notification requirements for mining activities. Click on a heading to either expand or collapse the heading content.

Associated water

Amendments to the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (the MR Act) that allow resource authority holders to take associated water as a statutory right came into effect on 6 December 2016. However, these rights come with obligations. Under the MR Act, you must report the volume of associated water you take. Holders of a Mining Lease (ML) or a Mineral Development Licence (MDL) must fulfil 2 aspects under s. 334ZP of the MR Act related to the take of associated water.

The 2 obligations you must meet are:

  • report the total volume of associated water to the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (even if water take is zero)
  • report the exercise of underground water rights to the Department of Environmental and Heritage Protection when it begins.

There are also additional reporting requirements under Chapter 3 of the Water Act 2000. However, these do not apply if you are taking the associated water under an existing water licence or if you would have been authorised to take the underground water before the MR Act was amended in December 2016.

Transitional arrangements will apply to projects that had started or completed the environmental assessment process but had not yet obtained a water licence (if required) before the MR Act was amended. These projects will need to obtain an associated water licence. Some of the additional reporting requirements under Chapter 3 for these projects will be specified in their licence conditions.

Resource authorities this applies to

  • Mineral development licence
  • Mining lease

How to lodge your notices and reports

The tables below show what you need to submit and how to do it. If you need more help:

Water volume reporting mandated under the Mineral Resources Act 1989

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Annual associated water volume report
(MRA1 s. 334ZP(5)(b))
(MRR2 s. s31A-31C)
Within 20 business days of the end of the 12-month data collection period

Complete the associated water volume report volume report template:

Upload report template as a zipped Excel file to QDEX Reports selecting the Geoscience Data Component type.

1MRA: Mineral Resources Act 1989
2MRR: Mineral Resources Regulation 2013

Associated water licence to take underground water

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge

Annual or quarterly monitoring report
(WA1 s. 1250G, s. 118)

Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Performance review report
(WA1 s. 1250G, s.118)
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Mine closure report
(WA1 s. 1250G, s. 118)
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Report of volumes taken, water levels and water quality
(WA1 s.1250G, s.118)
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports

1WA: Water Act 2000

Baseline assessments

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Baseline assessment plan
(WA1 s. 397, 398)
Before the day the holder exercises their underground water rights Email, post or deliver to Resource Sector Regulation & Support, Petroleum, Gas & Compliance, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
  • Email: resourcesector@ehp.qld.gov.au
  • Registered post, courier or hand delivery: Level 3, 400 George Street BRISBANE QLD 4000
  • Regular post: GPO Box 2454, BRISBANE QLD 4001
Notice of intention to undertake baseline assessment
(WA s. 403)
At least 10 business days before undertaking a baseline assessment Give to bore owner
ESR/2016/1918 - Outcome of baseline assessment (DOCX, 152KB)
(WA s. 405)
30 business days after undertaking the baseline assessment Email or post to Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment Give copy to bore owner

1WA: Water Act 2000

Underground water impact reports (outside CMA)

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Underground water impact report
(WA1 s. 370)
Before the day the holder exercises their underground water rights
Subsequent reports: within 10 business days after the 3rd anniversary of the day the first underground water impact report took effect
Email, post or deliver to Resource Sector Regulation & Support, Petroleum, Gas & Compliance, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
  • Email: resourcesector@ehp.qld.gov.au
  • Registered post, courier or hand delivery: Level 3, 400 George Street BRISBANE QLD 4000
  • Regular post: GPO Box 2454, BRISBANE QLD 4001
Public notice
(WA s. 382)
At least 2 months before an underground impact report is submitted Publish notice as required by Chief Executive of the Water Act
Provide a copy to each water bore owner in the area of the report
Submissions summary
(WA s. 383)
Must accompany an underground water impact report Email, post or deliver to Resource Sector Regulation & Support, Petroleum, Gas & Compliance, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection:
  • Email: resourcesector@ehp.qld.gov.au
  • Registered post, courier or hand delivery: Level 3, 400 George Street BRISBANE  QLD  4000
  • Regular post: GPO Box 2454, BRISBANE  QLD  4001

1WA: Water Act 2000

Notice of closure and final reports (outside CMA)

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Notice of closure
(WA1 s. 372)
1 year before the resource tenure ends
or
when the tenure is surrendered
Email, post or deliver to Resource Sector Regulation & Support, Petroleum, Gas & Compliance, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
  • Email: resourcesector@ehp.qld.gov.au
  • Registered post, courier or hand delivery: Level 3, 400 George Street BRISBANE  QLD  4000
  • Regular post: GPO Box 2454, BRISBANE  QLD  4001
Final report
(WA s. 374)
Within the period stated in the notice received from the Chief Executive Email, post or deliver to Resource Sector Regulation & Support, Petroleum, Gas & Compliance, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
  • Email: resourcesector@ehp.qld.gov.au
  • Registered post, courier or hand delivery: Level 3, 400 George Street BRISBANE  QLD  4000
  • Regular post: GPO Box 2454, BRISBANE  QLD  4001
Public notice
(WA s. 382)
At least 2 months before a final report is submitted Publish notice as required by Chief Executive of the Water Act
Provide a copy to each water bore owner in the area of the report
Submissions summary
(WA s. 383)
Must accompany final report Email, post or deliver to Resource Sector Regulation & Support, Petroleum, Gas & Compliance, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
  • Email: resourcesector@ehp.qld.gov.au
  • Registered post, courier or hand delivery: Level 3, 400 George Street BRISBANE  QLD  4000
  • Regular post: GPO Box 2454, BRISBANE  QLD  4001

1WA: Water Act 2000

Make good agreements and bore assessments

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Negotiate general agreement (WA1 s. 406) From the day the holder first exercises their underground water rights until there is a underground water impact report for the tenure
or
Where an underground water impact report is not required, from the day the holder first exercises their underground water rights after commencement and while the holder continues to hold the tenure.
Give to bore owner

Make good agreement
(WA s. 423)

Within 40 business days after the bore assessment is undertaken Give to bore owner
Notice of intention to undertake bore assessment
(WA s. 415)
At least 10 business days before undertaking a bore assessment Give to bore owner
ESR/2016/2392 - Outcome of bore assessment (DOCX, 205KB)
(WA s. 419)
Within 30 business days after undertaking a bore assessment Email or post to Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment Give copy to bore owner

1WA: Water Act 2000

Non-associated water

You must have the required water permit or licence to take or interfere with surface water or underground water (groundwater) when undertaking authorised activities on your resource authority. This includes taking or interfering with water for:

  • consumptive uses
  • diversion of a watercourse
  • impoundment of a watercourse
  • water taken from a bore.

Note: Resource authority holders must refer to their existing water licence or permit conditions for all reporting requirements.

Who this applies to

  • Coal and mineral resource authority holders who hold water licences or water permits under the Water Act 2000 or entities acting on behalf of these holders

Before starting activities

Make sure you have the required water licences and permits.

How to lodge your notices and reports

The tables below show what you need to submit and how to do it. If you need more help:

  • refer to the legislation (references in the tables below)
  • read about lodging reports into QDEX Reports.

Underground water

Licence to take underground water

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Annual or quarterly monitoring report
(WA1 s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Performance review report
(WA s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Mine closure report
(WA s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Report of volumes taken, water levels and water quality
(WA s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports

1WA: Water Act 2000

Permit to take underground water

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Report of volumes taken, water levels and water quality
(WA1 s. 242)
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports

1WA: Water Act 2000

Surface water

Licence to interfere with flow

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
As built engineering plan (diversion of a watercourse)
(WA1 s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Monitoring report (diversion of a watercourse)
(WA s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Relinquishment report (diversion of a watercourse)
(WA s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Monitoring report (impoundment of a watercourse)
(WA s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports
Decommissioning report (impoundment of a watercourse)
(WA s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports

1WA: Water Act 2000

Licence to take surface water

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Report of volumes taken
(WA1 s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports

1WA: Water Act 2000

Permit to take surface water

Report/notice and legislation When to lodge How to lodge
Report of volumes taken
(WA1 s. 214 (2)(e))
Refer to conditions of approval Upload report to QDEX Reports

1WA: Water Act 2000

Further information

For help or enquiries, contact the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy through your local business centre.