Spring Impacts

The Doongmabulla Springs complex is a system of 160 separate wetlands which act as rich and ancient oases in a very dry landscape[1]. They are Great Artesian Basin springs which are located just to the west of the proposed mine.

These springs are like oases, providing reliable water in times of drought for rural communities and graziers. They also support remarkable ecosystems. 

The springs are dependent on groundwater and are potentially threatened by Adani’s plans to extract groundwater for its mine[2].  A report released by the Federal Government found that there was major uncertainty about the impact that the mine will have on the Doongmabulla Springs[3].

Water experts have raised concerns that the mine could cause these extraordinary springs to dry up permanently[4].  And the CSIRO has raised major concerns about Adani's water modelling and says they underestimate the impacts on the Springs.

The springs have exceptional ecological values[5].  They are home to 56 endemic species, including a number of threatened species, and they act as a unique drought refuge in a very dry landscape[6].

They also have exceptional cultural significance to the Wangan and Jagalingou people[7].

The springs are part of the Great Artesian Basin Discharge Springs ecosystem, which is listed as threatened under Federal environment laws[8]. They are also recognised as nationally significant under the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia.

The mine will also put at risk the Mellaluka Springs Complex, which Adani itself acknowledges are likely to dry up completely, and an important water-dependent threatened species, the Waxy Cabbage Palm[9].

[1] EcoLogical 2017. Draft Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan: Carmichael Coal Mine Project
[2] Independent Expert Scientific Committee Advice on the Carmichael Coal Mine
[3] Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation. 2016. Lake Eyre Basin Springs Assessment Project: Hydrogeology, Cultural History and Biological Values of Springs in the Barcaldine, Springvale and Flinders River supergroups, Galilee Basin and Tertiary Springs of western Queensland.
[4] Currell, M.; Werner A.; Mcgrath C.; Webb J.A.; Berkman, M. Problems with the application of hydrogeological science to regulation of Australian mining projects: Carmichael Mine and Doongmabulla Springs. Journal of Hydrology, 548, p. 674–682, 2017. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022169417301774. See also http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-21/adani-groundwater-plan-risks-permanent-damage-to-desert-springs/9569184?section=politics.
[5] Adani Mining Pty Ltd v Land Services of Coast and Country Inc & Ors [2015] QLC 48, [297] and Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project EIS (2013), Vol 4, Appendix H - Matters of National Environmental Significance, Pages ix and 71.
[6] Adani Mining Pty Ltd v Land Services of Coast and Country Inc & Ors [2015] QLC 48, [297].
[7] The significance of the Springs to the W&J has been highlighted by them in a detailed complaint to the United Nations
[8] Independent Expert Scientific Committee Advice on the Carmichael Coal Mine
[9] Both listed in the Federal approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

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