Coalbed Methane (CBM)

CBM projects will require the dewatering of coal seams to assist with methane production. If the groundwater is saline (> 4,000 ppm total dissolved solids (TDS)), Alberta Environment and Protected Areas (AEPA) authorization is not required.

If the project requires the diversion of non-saline groundwater (< 4,000 ppm TDS) from the coal seam, AENV authorization is required, and the Guidelines for Groundwater Diversion for CBM Development must be followed.

A) Complete a Preliminary Groundwater Assessment Report, including:

  • A description of the CBM investigation
  • The results of a field-verified water well survey
  • A detailed assessment of the geology of the project area
  • A description and discussion of the hydrogeologic conditions of the project area
  • A conceptual Water Management Plan
  • This report must be submitted to and approved by AEPA prior to drilling / re-completion or groundwater diversion.

B) Complete a technical report supporting an Application Under the Water Act, including:

  • An overview of the existing hydrogeologic information supported by field-verified water well survey data
  • Aquifer testing data
  • Groundwater quality data
  • An operational Water Management Plan
  • A cumulative impact assessment
  • Groudwater monitoring data recommendations

HCL has prepared and submitted hundreds of technical reports to AEPA to support groundwater diversions in Alberta.