WATER WATCH: Paul Murphy by the bore dug and paid for by Rio Tinto and BMA which has seen a drop in water level five times higher then predicted.
WATER WATCH: Paul Murphy by the bore dug and paid for by Rio Tinto and BMA which has seen a drop in water level five times higher then predicted. Andrew Beard Emeempty

Lilyvale bore sinking 5 times faster than mines predicted

AN INDEPENDENT study has found groundwater levels of bores in the Lilyvale area are dropping five times faster than predicted by the surrounding coal mines.

A bore measured every month has fallen 86cm each year over the past four years, however a report commissioned by BMA and Rio Tinto in 2008 said there would be a drawdown of only 17cm a year.

Organic wheat farmer Paul Murphy lives close to the Gregory Crinum, Kestrel and KME mines.

"The departments don't monitor or regulate," Paul said.

"They are useless and I think the weak legislation allows the dewatering of bores.

"Without water it is difficult to survive in this country and this damage is forever."

The Department of Natural resources said the mines have "make good clauses" for any unplanned effects.

A Rio Tinto spokesperson said the new data would be used to manage groundwater into the future and suggested measures like digging the bore deeper and getting bigger pumps.

A BMA spokesperson said in the region there had been minimal impacts on groundwater and results varied between bores with some bores even filling up.

The bore on Paul's farm was modelled to drop 2m by 2020 but will drop by 10m.


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