A Mid western farming family is concerned that its water supply could frack, therefore impacting on their activities negatively.
Over the years, Peggy Hodgson fought hard to fight off miners from her land, therefore making sure that they had a continuous supply of clean drinking water.
Now that she is old and contemplating going for retirement, she is facing a more serious battle.
She said that“our water supply, eater quality and water quantity are all under threat and if anything is to go wrong with the fracking as well as the boring out there”
Ms Hodgson moved to the coastal community in Mid Western, allowing her sons to take over the farm.
What concern her most are the plans to explore unconventional gas just four kilometers from the source of clean drilling water.
According to her” the country out there is particularly fractures, has natural fractures and three massive faults” she said.
“These people will be drilling over the hill over the there and when they do that, they will certainly go right down the aquiver that supplies this bore field with fresh water”
The company which is behind this proposal is the AWE.
The company has already drilled a gas well at the site and if they confirm the existence of commercial quantities, drilling could commence within the next few months.
This is just one of the many gas tenements that AWE has in the entire PerthBasin. It is estimated that the entire region has about 60 trillion cubic-feet of shale gas.
However, up to now, there has not been a production of commercially viable gas production in Western Australia.
Lack of investigation
According to Piers Verstegen, the head of WA Conservation Council, it’s unfortunate that the government did not access the risks of this venture before approving the venture.
“This is the first time in history that we have seen a well drilled at a very close proximity to an important water resource,” he said.
“ What’s really alarmed us is the fact that there was no assessment regarding the risks of water contamination which would occur in the drinking water resource,” he said. AWE which is doing the prospecting self referred its proposal to the state’s Environmental Protection Agency.
However, even with more than 240 submissions, EPA did not go ahead and do an environmental impact assessment of the project.
“EPA has reasons to believe that the impacts which the proposal points out can be adequately addressed by the department of Mines and Petroleum and Water. That isn’t good for critics who believe that the department of mines and petroleum is guilty of conflict of interest.
“The agency which is promoting gas extraction near a water reservoir is the same that is responsible for regulating the impacts which it will have on the environment, Mr. Vestergen said.