The Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) was set up as a partnership between CSIRO and the gas industry, and has been undertaking independent, transparent and trusted social and environmental research for communities in gas development regions since 2011. GISERA’s aim is to provide scientific research and information on Australia’s growing natural gas industry to community, government and industry alike through the use of industry, CSIRO and government funding independently allocated to research projects by a stakeholder dominated Regional Research Advisory Committee. GISERA has expanded currently undertaking social and environmental research in New South Wales.
Four independent but related water projects spanning multiple research disciplines have been scoped and designed in consultation with community, government and industry stakeholders. These projects investigate multiple processes on different scales to comprehensively assess potential risks to groundwater quantity and quality, and build on from previous research undertaken as part of Bioregional Assessments Programme. They undertake focused assessment of reservoir-scale processes, water quality risks from bore delamination, uncertainties in aquifer-scale flow and water balance changes, and monitoring strategies to minimise prediction uncertainties.
The outcomes of these projects are expected to provide quantitative assessment of risks that the community and other stakeholders have expressed concerns about. The GISERA communication strategy that encourages continuous and ongoing engagement ensures communication of the research outcomes to diverse stakeholders and inform policy and regulatory decision making.