Coal mines are draining and polluting our drinking water
Underground coal mines in Sydney’s drinking water catchments are cracking and draining river beds, killing swamps that hold and filter water, and leaching contaminants such as manganese and iron into the water supply for 4.5 million people.
Coal mines in Sydney’s special catchment areas already drain about 3 billion litres a year from the water supply — enough water to fill 1,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools – and the problem is only getting worse.
The scale and impact of coal mining operations in the drinking water catchments has increased dramatically over the past decade, resulting in widespread and increasingly severe damage.
Coal seam gas fields are now the latest threat, with an AGL exploration licence covering most of the city’s drinking water catchment (three other licences threatening our water supplies have been bought back and cancelled in 2015 thanks to the campaign against them). During coal seam gas extraction, millions of litres of water are pumped from deep in beneath the earth, producing vast quantities of polluted water.
These activities have no place in our drinking water catchments. It is essential the government implement legally binding protections for our water catchments before the next state election.
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