Watermark Coal: groundwater study

The Watermark Coal project was a planned greenfield open-cut coal mine located approximately 25 km south-east of Gunnedah, in the Gunnedah Basin of north-west New South Wales.  We were engaged to complete a groundwater study for the project’s Environmental Impact Statement. The planned mining area occurs in a ridge area adjacent to a deep alluvial groundwater system known as the Liverpool Plains alluvial aquifer. Irrigation from the aquifer, supports a large agricultural industry within the region. The key challenge with the project was to characterise the nature of the connectivity between the mining area within the Gunnedah Basin coal measures and the Liverpool Plains alluvial aquifer.

Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Ltd employed an ‘in house’ hydrogeologist and implemented an extensive exploration and testing program. We used this information to develop conceptual and numerical models of the groundwater systems. The numerical model was developed to simulate natural groundwater processes and the stresses on the groundwater system including mining and irrigation in order to predict potential changes due to the project.


Hansen Bailey on behalf of Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Ltd


Watermark Coal: groundwater study




Conceptual modelling, numerical modelling

Outcomes we delivered

Outcomes we delivered

The outcomes included:

  • quantification of groundwater take from the Namoi unregulated and alluvial water sources for licensing purposes
  • predicted changes in water levels in the various aquifers
  • assessment of impacts on key receptors, including private landholder bores.

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