The introduction to the Surat CMA video provides an overview of the Surat Cumulative Management Area.


This short video introduces the Surat Cumulative Management Area. The Surat CMA was established in 2011 for managing groundwater impacts from extensive coal seam gas developments. In a CMA, cumulative groundwater impacts from petroleum and gas production are assessed and reported by the independent Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment.

Spanning from east of Toowoomba to Mitchell in the west, and extending from Goondiwindi to north of Blackwater in Central QLD, the CMA is approximately 400 kilometres wide and almost 600 kilometres long.

The Surat Cumulative Management Area covers part of three geologic basins. The Bowen Basin is the deepest and the oldest and runs north-south through the centre of the region. Above this is the Surat Basin which transitions to the Clarence-Moreton Basin toward the south-east.

These three geological basins comprise various aquifers that are part of a significant groundwater system, the Great Artesian—the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world—underlying 22 percent of the Australian continent. On top of the basins sits the Condamine Alluvium, another important aquifer.

Petroleum and Gas tenures, used for both Coal Seam Gas and conventional development, occur throughout the Surat CMA. The coal seam gas tenures dominate and are mostly close to each other. These tenures are owned by four major tenure holders – Arrow Energy, Origin Energy, Queensland Gas Company, Santos – and one minor holder, Senex Energy.

The total footprint where coal seam gas fields are developed or planned is about 50 percent of the tenures. As of late 2018, there were 6,800 coal seam gas wells and growing. The wells pump out groundwater to lower pressure and release gas. Total water extraction from these wells is about 60,000 megalitres per year.

The area contains a large number of water supply bores. Across the Great Artesian Basin, landholders use these bores to supply water for their stock and domestic purposes. It is also an important source of supply for some towns – including Roma in south western Queensland. Close to 41,000 mega litres per year is used from the Great Artesian Basin.

In the east, the Condamine Alluvium aquifer supplies about 70,000 megalitres of water per year to predominantly support irrigation for crop production.
There are fewer water bores in the Bowen Basin, groundwater is primarily used for stock and domestic purpose.

Groundwater is also a source of water to springs in the Great Artesian Basin. These are located in the north of the CMA around Injune and Wandoan.

For more information, please visit our website.

Last updated: 23 May 2023