North Galilee Water Project
The North Galilee Water Project (NGWP) is part of the water supply solution for the Carmichael Mine project. It includes three components of infrastructure:
- Floodwater harvesting – intake pump station and infrastructure to transfer water from the Suttor River to the Belyando Junction Dam
- Expansion of Belyando Junction Dam – to store floodwaters from the Suttor River
- Water supply pipeline – from the dam to the mine site, including two pump stations
The water transported by the pipeline will be pumped from the Suttor River only when it is in flood, flowing at a rate of more than 2,592ML per day, and farmers have taken what they need. Conditions further limit water uptake to 12.5GL a year, and we will pay for using this water in the same way and at the same cost as other users. The NGWP is currently being assessed, however the assessment process does not affect the operation of the Carmichael Mine.
Since 2015, we have completed numerous studies on the NGWP to determine final alignment and the application of environmental approvals.
These studies included an environmental impact assessment which considered Matters of National Environmental Significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Approval status of the North Galilee Water Project
Infrastructure component 1 - floodwater harvesting
We received our Water Licence in 2017 from the Queensland Government which allows us to take up to 12.5GL of water per year.
Strict conditions are imposed under this Water Licence to protect water security and the rights of other water users in the area. We can only pump floodwater from the Suttor River when:
- It is in flood
- Farmers have taken what they need
- The flow rate in the Suttor River is higher than
2,592ML per day
State Government has capped floodwater harvesting at 12.5GL a year which is less than 1% of the annual flow of the Suttor River. In times of drought, we cannot take any water from the area.
We will also pay for water in the same way and at similar costs to other users.
Infrastructure component 2 – expansion of Belyando Junction Dam
The floodwaters harvested from the Suttor River will be stored Existing tracks will be used, minimising environmental impacts in the existing Belyando Junction Dam, to be expanded to a during construction and operation. capacity of 10GL.
Infrastructure component 3 – water supply pipeline
The NGWP pipeline is approximately
110km long. It will connect the Belyando Junction Dam to the mine site, and in sections runs parallel to the Carmichael Rail alignment (refer to map).
The alignment was chosen to:
- Maximise use of existing cleared areas and tracks
- Avoid floodplain tributaries
- Avoid environmentally sensitive areas
- Minimise the number of private properties crossed
The final alignment is the most suitable with the least impact on landowners, local communities and natural habitats.
The pipeline will be buried for its full length of 110km which will allow grazing and cultivation to continue.
A maximum 30m wide construction corridor will be established to provide space for vehicle access, topsoil management and stringing together the pipeline.
Working with Governments and Community
We have worked and continue to work with all three levels of government - local councils, state and federal – to secure relevant permits and ensure we meet all legislative requirements.
We have engaged with all landholders who will be directly impacted by the NGWP.
We have undertaken various investigations on landowner properties and established mutually agreed outcomes. Land agreements are in place with directly impacted landholders.
We have engaged with two Indigenous Group who are connected to the land that the pipeline will traverse through:
- Wangan and Jagalingou People
- Jangga People
We also have a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) in place for the project.
The construction and operation of NGWP will not extinguish any Native Title along the 110km alignment.
Public consultation was completed as part of the approval process for the Belyando Junction Dam.
Targeted consultation was also undertaken as part of the Water Licence approval process with surrounding (including downstream) users.
We will continue to engage with government, landholders and the Indigenous Groups during construction and operation.