Local landholders in Queensland are seeing first-hand the benefits of treated coal seam gas (CSG) water with cattle thriving on forage crops planted as part of Santos’ Fairview Irrigation Project.
Santos has planted 234 hectares of forage crops, such as leucaena, for use by local graziers since the irrigation project began in October 2008.
Earlier this year, the first 500-plus local landholder cattle were released into the leucaena plantation and have since been grazing on rotation.
Santos’ Eastern Queensland Regional Manager Sam Klaas said the cattle “are thriving on the leucaena, which provides them with a sustained level of high protein and which leads to accelerated weight gain.”
“In fact, these cattle gain weight almost twice as quickly as grass-fed cattle. The leucaena’s water requirement cycle is also in synch with the CSG water release.
“As many people know, water is released as part of the CSG production process. The volume of water released in the initial stages is higher, and it diminishes over time.
“This fits with the leucaena’s irrigation requirements. The crop requires a high volume of water to get going and then less over time.”
The Fairview Irrigation Project complies with EPA requirements and provides a beneficial reuse for water released through the GLNG project. It also benefits local graziers.
“Most locals have reacted positively to the project and have been keen to get involved, which is great because we’re always looking for ways to work together with landholders now and into the future,” Sam said.
Local irrigation of forage is also an attractive proposition for many reasons. Importantly, irrigation projects are scalable and can be safely established close to gas fields.
Community relations, Environment, Queensland