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Salty gas: the ecological risk of saline effluents from coal seam gas and other hydrocarbon resources.

Project Member(s): Lim, R.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage Projects)
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Start year: 2013

Summary: The extraction of coal and coal seam gas is worth billions of dollars for Australia but is controversial and risks degrading freshwater systems from disposal of large volumes of saline water. Disposal of this water after it is desalinised is an option but could still negatively affect freshwater biota by making freshwaters ionically too dilute. This project will develop new knowledge and methods to determine the ecological risk associated with disposal of saline and desalinised waters from hydrocarbon resource extraction. The findings will contribute to objectively setting water quality guidelines for the disposal of water produced by such activities, and thus allow the economic benefits without degrading freshwater biodiversity.

Keywords: salinity,ecotoxicology,freshwater pollution

FOR Codes: Environmental Impact Assessment, Coal Mining and Extraction, Freshwater Ecology, Oil and Gas Extraction, Freshwater ecology , Environmental assessment and monitoring