- To download a copy of the Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of Water Conservation and Water Demand Management Plans for the Mining Sector, click here. (3.13 MB)
- To download a copy of the Benchmarks for Water Conservation and Water Demand Management in the Mining Sector, click here. (2.47 MB)
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA) have reached a significant milestone in a collaborative exercise on water conservation and water demand management aimed at driving water savings and usage improvements in the mining industry.
The collaboration between the DWS and the MCSA has evolved over several years, with the most recent project being the development of commodity-based national water use efficiency benchmarks to guide acceptable levels of water use and, thereby, drive improvements in water use efficiency.
The project’s output is found in two recently published documents. The first document 'Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of Water Conservation and Water Demand Management Plans for the Mining Sector' is based on comprehensive research findings in the second document 'Benchmarks for Water Conservation and Water Demand Management in the Mining Sector'.
The research was carried out at 39 different mining operations, including coal, gold, platinum, diamonds, chrome, iron-ore, manganese, copper, phosphate, heavy mineral sands and dolomite quarries, besides others, that have been shown, through evaluation of production and water use data, to be representative of the national mining industry. It provides a set of national water use efficiency benchmarks.
One aspect of the value of the study and guidelines is it becomes possible to develop optimal water conservation and water demand management plans and targets based on the mineral being mined and on a range of other relevant factors. There are many climatic, surface and groundwater, mining methods and operational variables that could influence the most optimal water conservation and water demand management opportunities.
Mines will now develop water saving plans based on the guidelines and will report yearly according to specified templates set out in the guidelines.
“This project has firmly reinforced the notion that a great deal of public good can flow from cooperative work between business and government. We hope to hear more in the years ahead about the water savings that will be achieved thanks to these efforts, MCSA CEO Roger Baxter said on Friday.