New guidelines for onshore petroleum groundwater monitoring released

New groundwater monitoring guidelines for the onshore petroleum industry have resulted from a two-year collaboration between DMP and the Department of Water
Date: Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) and the Department of Water (DoW) have worked in collaboration over the past two years to develop the Guideline for Groundwater Monitoring in the Onshore Petroleum and Geothermal Industry – August 2016.

This new Guidelines aim to help petroleum and geothermal operators develop effective groundwater monitoring programs and encourage industry best practice.


The Guideline specifically addresses:

  • activities requiring groundwater monitoring;
  • review of existing information;
  • designing a monitoring program;
  • interpreting monitoring data; and
  • information to be provided to DMP and DoW.

The Guideline supports the Reforming Environmental Regulation (RER) program’s initiative to improve transparency in line with DMP expectations on baseline groundwater monitoring by the petroleum and geothermal industry.

It also aims to reassure local communities, stakeholders and landholders that groundwater resources are actively monitored and are not being impacted by onshore petroleum activities.

An Information Sheet for Landowners answering commonly asked questions about groundwater monitoring associated with onshore petroleum activities, is available on the DMP website.

In September 2015, a draft Guideline was reviewed by an Interagency Working Group on Shale and Tight Gas comprising representatives from the:

  • Department of Mines and Petroleum;
  • Department of Water;
  • Department of Environment Regulation;
  • Department of Agriculture and Food WA;
  • Department of State Development;
  • Department of Parks and Wildlife;
  • Department of Health; and
  • Office of the Environmental Protection Authority.

The Chemistry Centre, Water Corporation, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and peak petroleum industry body the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, were also invited to provide comment.

A draft Guideline was released in January 2016 for an eight week public feedback period.  All submissions were considered in finalising the Guideline and DMP’s Guideline for Groundwater Monitoring in the Onshore Petroleum and Geothermal Industry - Response to Comments has been released and is available on the website.

For further information please email the Environment Division.