Channel country at the crossroads: the risks of unconventional gas mining for land, water and life
The expansion of the unconventional oil and gas industry into the Channel Country is a relatively new development. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the proliferation of new oil and gas fields in the region will detract from its natural values. The proposed exploitation of shale and tight gas is particularly alarming. It is vital that residents of the region familiarise themselves with the potential scale of this new industry, its inputs and unconventional techniques such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), so as to understand the risks for scarce water resources, vast floodplains and the natural ecosystems on which life and sustainable human industry depend.
This report outlines and summarises the nature and impacts of the unconventional gas industry and its likely effects on the Channel Country. It draws on the experiences of affected communities in the United States, where unconventional gas exploitation is large-scale and has a much longer history than here in Australia, and puts it into a Channel Country and wider Lake Eyre Basin context.