Balancing act in the northern Perth Basin

March 17th, 2024

CSIRO researchers help identify and resolve potential resource conflicts in Western Australia.

Researchers from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, have launched a project to help identify and resolve potential resource conflicts in Western Australia.

Conducted through CSIRO’s Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), the project seeks to address community concerns about the impacts of resource development and energy industry activities on groundwater resources and land use in the northern Perth Basin.

With a significant increase in industrial activities in this region, the project aims to support communities, regulators and industries in the adoption of a balanced, evidence-based approach to resource development.

Over the next year, CSIRO scientists will develop a comprehensive framework that considers the unique physical, chemical and geological characteristics of the region, as well as any environmental or social impacts that may result from potential resource conflicts.

About the northern Perth Basin

map northern Perth Basin

Map of the northern Perth Basin showing locations of petroleum operations, mineral sands, and electricity generation.

The northern Perth Basin extends about 1300 km along the southwestern margin of Australia. In recent years, the region has seen a significant increase in resources development and energy-related industrial activities.

That includes subsurface development like natural gas, geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen exploration and storage, and sediment-hosted mineral deposits; as well as above-ground renewable energy developments, including wind and solar farms.

Renewable energy development and the resurgence of natural resource exploration in the northern Perth Basin both provide important economic opportunities for the region. But with so many different investments to consider, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive framework to help identify potential conflicts.

This will help ensure that both subsurface and above ground resources in the region can be developed in a sustainable and mutually beneficial way.

Read more about this project and learn about other GISERA projects in Western Australia