Water management

Mining requires water. However, water consumption in the mining sector varies depending on the extracted resource, the extraction and processing methods, the location of a mine and even the mode of transportation. Furthermore, inadequate and inefficient water management can affect the quality of surface and groundwater, and exacerbate existing water stress.

Thus, the mining sector faces two challenges: preventing the pollution of water resources and reducing its consumption by increasing water efficiency.

Unfold to find out more about key issues for improving water resource management in mining.

Protecting water quality

When managing water resources, looking at the whole water catchment enables more complete understanding of water uses and users, hydrology, and ecological dynamics. The ICMM offers a Practical Guide to Catchment-Based Water Management which helps companies identify water catchment risks of their operations. They also published guidance to support the sector in compiling simple and relevant information on the water, including consistent metrics, which provides a solid foundation for consistent water reporting. The guidance, Water Reporting: Good practice guide (2nd Edition), also aims to align with GRI, provide clarity on reporting expectations for external stakeholders and promote a better understanding of the industry’s operational water context, practices and reporting.

Find information on the prediction, prevention and management of Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) and Acid Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) by browsing through the Global Acid Rock Drainage Guide, launched by the International Network for Acid Prevention.


Enhancing efficient water use

Review good practices of water and energy efficiency in the mining sectors of Chile and Peru, collated by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Carribean (ECLAC).

Review this technical guide on auditing water and energy efficiency in Andean mining countries, published by the programme “Cooperación regional para la gestión sustentable de los recursos mineros” (MinSus)