Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment

The Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) is an independent office established under chapter 3A of the Water Act 2000.

We are primarily responsible for assessing and managing the impacts of groundwater extraction from resource operations (petroleum and gas, and mining) in cumulative management areas (CMAs). CMAs are declared where impacts from resource development may overlap.

There is 1 CMA in Queensland—the Surat CMA, which provides for ongoing assessment and management of cumulative impacts from petroleum and gas development. The Surat CMA was established in 2011, primarily in response to coal seam gas development.

In January 2020, the Surat CMA was amended to include, in future UWIRs, impacts from coal mining tenures located within the Surat and Clarence-Moreton basins.

Role and functions

Our core functions are to:

  • undertake evidence-based independent scientific assessment of cumulative groundwater impacts from resource operations
  • set management arrangements within CMAs
  • assign statutory responsibilities to tenure holders for the implementation of management strategies within CMAs.

Our other functions are to:

  • provide advice, when requested, to the Department of Environment and Science on matters relating to groundwater impacts from resource development
  • maintain a database of information.

The cumulative impact assessment and management arrangements are set out in an underground water impact report (UWIR). The report is prepared every 3 years to accommodate new scientific research, monitoring, and changes in industry’s development plans. The latest report is the UWIR 2021 which takes effect on 1 May 2022 and supersedes the previous report from 2019.

Funding and administrative arrangements

OGIA is housed within the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water which provides corporate and administrative support.

We are entirely funded through an annual industry levy. The majority of the levy is paid by coal seam gas operators within the Surat CMA.

Contact us

Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment
Phone: (07) 3199 7321

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General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)