The River Condition Index Impact Assessment Tool helps predict the impact of aquifer interference activities on river health and is a by-product of the NSW River Condition Index. It was developed for use by proponents and regulatory authorities in the NSW planning, approvals and monitoring process for aquifer interference activities.
Under the Aquifer Interference Policy, developers must consider thresholds for key minimal impacts. These include groundwater sources in relation to water table and groundwater pressure drawdown, as well as groundwater and surface water quality. Proponents must show that their actions will not reduce the condition of nearby waterways, using the NSW River Condition Index as a baseline.
The River Condition Index Impact Assessment Tool is a predictive impact assessment tool to assess whether coal seam gas, open cut mining, long wall mining and sand and gravel extraction projects will have a significant impact on river health. It uses four of the NSW River Condition Index sub-indices and a series of rules to compare ‘current’ versus ‘predicted future’ condition.
A Proof of Concept report documents the testing and development of the River Condition Index Impact Assessment Tool, detailing the research behind each sub-index and the establishment of their associated rules.