An Aquifer Interference Policy PDF (493 KB PDF) protects aquifers and groundwater from coal seam gas (CSG) activity.Aquifers are underground geological structures of rock, sand or gravel through which water passes slowly.

The policy governs any exploration or production which:

  • penetrates an aquifer;
  • interferes with the water in an aquifer;
  • obstructs the flow of water in the aquifer; and
  • takes water from the aquifer, or disposes of that water.

Any CSG activity that uses more than three mega litres (1.2 Olympic-size swimming pools) of water per year must hold a water access licence from the NSW Office of Water. This ensures equitable sharing of groundwater among all water users, and that volumes of water taken from aquifers are licensed and accounted for.

Even if water is not taken from an aquifer, this policy safely controls the impact CSG activity may have on aquifers and connected water systems, the users of these systems and the dependent ecosystems.

The NSW Office of Water assesses, minimises and manages access to aquifers through an approvals process to prevent and avoid risks to the flow, pressure and water quality of aquifers.

For further information
NSW Office of Water, Department of Primary Industries
(02) 9597 4444
NSW Office of Water, 4 Guess Ave, Wolli Creek NSW 2205 Map