EFFICIENT WATER MANEGEMENT IN THE MINING SECTOR
Water resources play a fundamental role in mining for two main reasons: the use of water in extraction and its supply from natural sources that mining uses.
Mining is responsible for extracting the Earth’s resources that are valuable for our lives, but water is the most valuable resource of them all. We can live without gold or copper, but not without water. That is why in addition to its use, we must pay special attention to issues like sustainability, the environment and the reuse of this vital element.
The more than well-reputed Dr. Rafael Fernández Rubio, a retired mining engineer, has created a series of guidelines derived from his many years of experience in the sector. One of the most important of them is the need to manage water resources with the “the best economic, social and environmental sustainability, with medium and long-term integral planning.
Similarly, the extraction of groundwater should be sustained in the best technologies for Prevention of Mine Drainage, to achieve water of a higher quality. Achieving efficient water consumption that is calculated and doesn’t spill water that doesn’t meet the quality standard is another factor that we must take into account.
The artificial recharge of quality water, accumulating a wealth of water informationfor future generations, and leaving a strong water infrastructure when finishing an activity are other factors that Fernández Rubio says are necessary for responsible mining with water reserves.
Mining of the 21stcenturyhas a commitment with the natural environment, with sustainable development as the base of its activity. It is for that reason more rigorous and strict control is being enforced with regard to everything that involves using water. To achieve these objectives, a strong commitment from all those involved in mining is crucial to support and promote responsible use of water.