Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Groundwater Management’ Category

Water in Mining Summit – Perth 2014

December 18, 2014

Duncan

wimWater in Mining Summit

Jeff Jolly (AQ2) was invited to chair the second day of presentations and discussion at The Water in Mining Summit, held in Perth 16-18 September 2014. He has provided a summary of the event.

Background

Mining plays a major role in water use in WA (36% of all water is used by mining companies and 56% of all groundwater used is in mining) and interest in the Summit was good, with about 80 attendees from mining companies (BHPB, Newmont, Rio, Roy Hill, MMG, Anglogold Ashanti and Cameco), government departments (Department of Water WA, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection QLD, Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO) and a number of consulting groups. Read more

Groundwater and Unconventional Gas in Western Australia

August 19, 2014

Duncan

Unconventional Gas in Western Australia

What is Unconventional Gas?

Natural gas is found in a number of different geological environments.  As demand for gas has increased and drilling and extraction technology has improved, so exploration and production is moving into geological environments that were previously too challenging; gas in such locations is called Uncoventional Gas and it is often described based on the type of rock from which it is extracted (Figure 1), such as:

• coal seam gas (CSG) – found in coal seams,
• tight gas – found in compacted sandstone or limestone and
• shale gas – found in dense shale rock. Read more

Extra Value from Compliance Reports

August 4, 2014

Duncan

Operational Value from Compliance Reviews

Periodic compliance reporting is one of the conditions of many groundwater abstraction licences.  Typically, compliance reports include the volume of groundwater abstracted, the resulting effect on groundwater levels, groundwater quality and a comparison of these against licensed conditions.  In Western Australia, for example, reporting requirements are outlined in the Department of Water’s Operational Policy No.5.12 and they have variously been called Wellfield Assessments, Annual Aquifer Reviews and Groundwater Monitoring Reports.

Operational Value

However, over and beyond maintaining an abstraction licence or a component of social licence, there is often the opportunity to use a compliance review to add operational value.  We believe there is often the opportunity to review the data from an operational perspective with potential benefits for costs and risk management. Read more

Peak Water…….are we running out of water

August 11, 2013

Duncan

Peak Water…Are we running out of Groundwater?

Peak Oil has generated headlines since American geologist M King-Hubbert first developed the concept in 1956.  In recent years, spurred on by fears of carbon-induced climate change and dwindling oil-resources, we have begun to develop alternatives to oil.  However, in an article, Lester Brown of the Earth Resources Institute argues that the real threat to our future is Peak Water. There are substitutes for oil, but not for water. We can produce food without oil, but not without water. Read more

Water in Mining Guideline – Western Australia

August 5, 2013

Duncan

AQ2brochure-karijini

Western Australia’s Water in Mining Guideline

The Western Australian Department of Water recently published a new guide outlining the approval process related to water management for mining projects in Western Australia – Western Australian water in mining guideline, May 2013.

The guide applies statewide and outlines how the Department of Water (DoW) will regulate the management of water resources for a mining project (principally by the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914).

DoW advocates a consultative approach and encourages preliminary discussions with the proponent very early in the mining project.  The guide also provides advice on the key issues and information related to water that maybe required as part of the approval process.  These include water supply and dewatering requirements, mine water balance and management plans for any excess water and key water-dependent environmental receptors that may be affected by the proposed mine.  DoW advocates flexibility in determining the important water management issues for each specific mining project. Read more