Lucas Dow, CEO of Adani Mining in Rockhampton for key rail line announcement.
Lucas Dow, CEO of Adani Mining in Rockhampton for key rail line announcement. Frazer Pearce

Time to set the record straight on water: Adani CEO

ADANI has been subjected to mistruths, distortions and outright lies over our plan to develop the Carmichael mine and create prosperity for thousands of Queenslanders.

When it comes to water, the argument gets emotional and the distortions used by some people play on that. Their claims are wrong.

Adani recognises that there is significant hardship caused by the current drought but it's important to understand that we are not taking water from the Great Artesian Basin, nor are we taking water from drought-affected farmers.

The Farmers for Climate Action are using this type of misinformation in their local advertisements. It is unethical and dishonest to use that to sway the opinions of others.

Adani has been working closely with landowners around the site of the project for many years and we have made agreements with them. Yet the leaders of the Farmers for Climate Action live elsewhere. One on the Sunshine Coast.

Adani is happy for discussion about the project but let's base it on the facts.

When it comes to surface water, lies and distortions have been extreme.

Adani can't just take water from the Suttor River. In fact, we are at the back of the queue when it comes to allocation. Farmers get the first access and Adani can only take water when the river is in flood.

The water licence allows the mine to take up to 12.5 gigalitres of water a year when the river is in flood and Adani can't take water in a drought.

Like other industrial users, Adani has to pay for the river water it uses.

More recently there have been outrageous claims about the Doongmabulla Springs, which have been subjected to extensive third party scientific studies over several years.

The water source of the spring is geologically separated from the water associated with mining and these facts formed part of the evidence used in Land Court hearings.

The Land Court reaffirmed that the source of springs is protected by a 250 metre to 300-metre layer of impervious claystone.

To protect the springs and the wildlife that uses them, the conditions state that water level cannot drop more than 20cm and a network of water monitoring bores will be established to observe and protect underground water levels.

There are also early warning triggers if there are unforeseen impacts and Adani will be reporting to state and federal governments on the underground water levels and water management activities.

There has also been years of investigation of the Carmichael project by the courts and Adani has invested in six years of scientific environmental assessments.

There is also the distortion that we can pump out endless amounts of groundwater.

We can only pump water from the in and around mining areas to ensure mining can occur safely and water does not seep into the mine.

It means we have to use and reuse groundwater efficiently.

The mine is separated from the Great Artesian Basin by a thick impervious underground layer of clay.

However, if there is any seepage from the GAB, Adani will compensate for it through a system of capping bores that flow freely and cannot be turned on and off. These bores were established for agricultural use.

That will be a saving of 730 megalitres a year for the first five years.

The science that has been developed for the Carmichael project is strong.

It's time people accepted the science and stopped distorting it.