Essay about Coal Seam Gas Assessment

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Coal Seam Gas
Outline the issue that you have chosen.
I have chosen the issue of coal seam gas production which involves taking gas at depths of around 300 - 1000 metres. This is achieved by injecting water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressures to create cracks in the rock and draw out gas. While the coal seam gas production has some obvious benefits such as providing power for Australia in the future and creating thousands of jobs, there are a number of uncertainties and disadvantages for the environment. ‘Human activities and needs often conflict with the quality and sustainability of the environment’. Discuss this statement in relation to your chosen issue. (Outline 3 advantages that help meet human activities and or needs and 3 disadvantages that compromise the conservation of the natural environment).
I agree that human need and activities often conflict with the quality and sustainability of the environment. This statement heavily relates to the issue surrounding coal seam gas production. While a major advantage of coal seam gas production is that it could provide for Australia’s energy needs for the next 120 years many ecological issues need to be addressed. As well as the advantage that coal seam gas could meet Australia’s future energy needs, the coal seam gas industry may also provide huge financial benefits to Australia with the industry predicted to create more than $40 billion in investments as well as around 6000 permanent jobs and 18 000 temporary jobs. Coal seam gas is also much cheaper than other renewable resources. It is 25% cheaper than wind and 60% cheaper than solar power.
Although there are a list of advantages for coal seam gas, there are also a broad range of disadvantages that circulate the issue. The huge problem that coal seam gas brings is the potential for a huge geological disaster, an earthquake. It also requires taking an estimated 300 gigalitres of water (comparable to the water usage of all Queensland house holders in a year) each year. Other advisory bodies including the Water Ground advising the Federal Government estimate the usage to be around 470 gigalitres of water each year. The point is, nobody really knows how much water the coal seam gas industry will use and it might be much higher than predicted. Additionally the water taken from the ground as part of process is also very salty with about 31 million tonnes of waste salt produced, this is enough to fill the MCG 15 times and would have a terrible impact on the fertility of the land. The worst part about taking so much water from underground is that the coal seam gas water is left with some harsh chemicals still in the water which would make the water toxic to some animals.

Make a judgement on your chosen issue and justify for your opinion.
I think that the idea of coal seam gas presents a range of disadvantages and varying uncertainties. I also think that the estimated benefits to people’s needs as well the estimated impacts on our environment makes coal seam gas production seem promising even though there are a number of inherit risks. Coal seam gas should definitely be further researched and the costs and impacts further analysed and estimated to provide a trusted idea about what it could do to the planet. The effort should then be put into fixing these problems, especially the excess water use, salination and the risk of causing an earthquake.

Assess 2 appropriate digital technologies you used to research