Mine Water Footprint as a Primary Tool for Water Stewardship

Author(s): 
David Hoekstra, Stephen Northey, Maureen Upton, Patrick Williamson
Date: 
Monday, October 24, 2016
First presented: 
Industrial Water Use and Reuse Workshop - Strategies for Sustainable Water Management for Mining
Type: 
Presentation
Category: 
Water Management
Environmental/Social
 
Freshwater scarcity is a growing problem globally. Addressing the challenges of water scarcity and changing distributions of water use requires the ability to measure water performance across a range of industries, including mining. Water footprinting represents a standardized method for doing this. Developing a mine site water footprint requires a detailed understanding of the site's water balance, which can vary significantly based upon local hydrology, site processes and infrastructure, and on-site water management decisions.
 

Feature Author

David Hoekstra

David is a civil engineer with over 28 years of experience in mining, environmental, solid waste, and geotechnical projects. He specializes in mine water management, including designing surface water conveyance and stormwater structures as well as capture and storage facilities for surface water and solution flows.

David’s experience includes conducting a third-party review of an OPSIM water balance model, evaluating the development of Australian Water Balance Method input parameters, and performing a completeness review of an existing site-wide water balance model.  He has also developed a site-wide process and environmental water balance model for the feasibility study of a large gold mine. This model incorporated an open pit, heap leach pad, waste dumps, and water supply and control reservoirs. The model predicted the water demands for the process as well as the quantity and quality of off-site discharge along regional drainage routes using daily, probabilistic climate forecasts.

Mine Water Management Specialist
PE, BSc
SRK Denver
Maureen Upton
Maureen Upton is a leading expert in sustainable development, with over 27 years of professional experience focused mainly in the extractive industries. She has authored many publications on the economic and social impact of mining, given keynote speeches at industry events around the world, and produced films focused on the human impact of resource extraction. She is one of the industry's thought leaders on social license to operate, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, international economic development, and occupational and community health. As a Spanish and Portuguese speaker, her work and travel have taken her across five continents and 32 countries assessing the economic and social impact of mining. 
Social License Expert
SRK Denver
SRK Worldwide