The socio-economic and environmental benefits of using coal seam water for agriculture

Coal seam water (CSW) is produced as a by-product of coal seam gas (CSG) extraction. Legislation requires treating CSW to high environmental standards, which means there is a new source of water that can be used by other industries, such as agriculture. Sarah’s research assesses different approaches to beneficially reuse CSW considering socio-economic development and environmental sustainability.


Coming from a multidisciplinary background, Sarah has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Philosophy from the University of York, followed by a Master of Science in Energy and Natural Resource Management from University College London. During her masters, she completed her research thesis (awarded with distinction) on the role collective action plays in successful groundwater management in Australia.

Afterward, she worked with the International Water Management Institute in New Delhi as an intern researcher, followed by a visiting fellowship with the Australian National University in Canberra focusing on the implementation of a Managed Aquifer Recharge scheme in the Indo-Gangetic plain. The main aim of this research was to design institutional frameworks that would ensure the long-term sustainability of the managed aquifer recharge technologies, in accordance with the local conditions, while analysing conjunctive water management policies.

Sarah's research interests include socio-economic analysis of water projects, collective action and co-management of natural resources, community engagement, institutional design, water governance and policy, conjunctive water management, managed aquifer recharge, and climate change adaptation.

Publications include: 1. Shalsi, S., Ordens, C.M., Curtis, A., Simmons C.T (2019). “Can collective action address the tragedy of the commons in groundwater management? Insights from an Australian case study”. Hydrogeology Journal. 2.  Reddy, V., Rout, S., Shalsi S., Pavelic P., Ross A. (2020). Managing Underground Transfer of Floods for Irrigation: A Case Study from the Ramganga Basin, India. Journal of Hydrology. 583.


Associate Professor Glen Corder & Kathy Witt