The approval of the massive Adani (Carmichael Coal) Mine has been delayed by ongoing concerns with the groundwater plan. What if the mine did not have to use groundwater at all, but drew water from massive storages created nearby at Lake Buchanan and Lake Galilee? The unused salt lakes perched on the Great Dividing Range could be filled with flood water from an aqueduct to Hells Gate Dam on the headwaters of the Burdekin River.
Low-cost gravitational flow is viable, as it is downhill from all the way from the headwaters of the Burdekin, providing Hells Gate Dam is built to a sufficient height.
Not only Adani, but 5 mines have been approved for the Galilee Coal Basin (see image). Are they going to run into the same water sourcing problems too? A Galilee pipeline should be constructed to pipe water east from the two storages and so mitigate the environmental impact of these mines on ground and surface waters.
The mines in the Bowen Basin draw water from the Burdekin Falls Dam via a pipeline – why not build the same river saving
In addition, the storages could also be used for town water supply and irrigation of the fertile Mitchell Grass Downs to the west of the Great Dividing Range. Use a renewable supply of flood waters and leave the limited groundwater source alone.
Renewable hydropower generation is also possible at and between Lake Buchanan and Lake Galilee, as well as locations along the aqueduct route. The power generated could be sold to the mines, generating carbon-free revenue.