We recognise that climate related risks could bring about changes in both the severity and frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts. To reduce vulnerability to such extreme climate conditions and effectively manage the risks, Curragh completed a review of water use and held a workshop to identify options for reducing the use of high-quality water on site.
At the same time, we have increased our participation in external water stakeholder groups to improve our understanding of water in the regional context. We focussed on water conservation awareness across site; developed and implemented administrative controls; and commenced studies to determine water infrastructure requirements in the medium term and options to further increase the use of reclaimed water in the coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP). By December 2019, 67.4% of Queensland was drought declared, including the Central Highlands, and Fairbairn Dam recorded its lowest level since the dam was constructed in 1972.
Curragh successfully implemented our new Drought Trigger Action Response Plan. These are small milestones in improving Curragh’s resilience towards external climatic conditions. Our focus will be scoping staged infrastructure improvements to increase reclaimed water supply to the CHPP. Should this project be implemented it will improve the start-up time of the CHPP whilst reducing water use.