The National Water Commission have released a new Waterlines Report No 59 – October 2011 that considers the cumulative impacts of mining operations within National Water Initiative compliant land use planning processes.  The report includes a framework and a set of supporting tools for use by jurisdictions and mining companies to allow them to perform nationally-consistent, risk based assessments of the cumulative impacts of mining on groundwater resources.

The framework was tested and refined in a range of geological, hydrological and land use contexts across four Australian regions:

  • Hamersley/Pilbara in Western Australia
  • Eromanga in South Australia
  • Charters Towers in Queensland
  • the Hunter Valley in New South Wales

This final Waterlines report sets out:

  • a final overview of the project approach
  • project outcomes and findings
  • key issues to be considered in implementing the framework

The report sets out a sequential process of assessment to identify the nature, scale and magnitude of risks associated with mining impacts on groundwater.  A series of eighteen technical reports detailing the various components of the project are also available.  Click here for more.