International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

IAH NSW – May Tech Talk

Philosophical Concepts of Environmental Monitoring System Design for Resource Development

J. R. Underschultz

Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland, Centre for Natural Gas  and CEO of Petroleum Hydrogeology International


For many proposed resource development projects, the risk of environmental impact is both managed and regulated through a process of Environmental Impact Assessment followed by implementation and operation of an agreed Environmental Management Plan.  The Management Plan will normally include the design, implementation and operation of a Monitoring System that supports groundwater and surface water modelling, provides annual updates of system performance, informs annual reporting, and triggers intervention if and when required.

This seminar/discussion examines philosophically, and in generic terms, what we would like Monitoring Systems to achieve, and the components in Monitoring System Design needed to meet these requirements. Of course, these should be tailored and adjusted to the site-specific conditions and operational needs of each actual project.


Jim has some 35 years experience as a working hydrogeologist in the resources and research sectors.  He has degrees in Geology, Geodynamics and Petroleum Engineering. Over his career he has worked at the Alberta Research Council in Canada, the CSIRO, ANLEC R&D and University of Queensland in Australia and has worked at or run, various consulting companies in Canada and Australia. Jim has a special interest in fluid flow and faults and in Measurement Monitoring and Verification systems.


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