Improving the accuracy of mine site water balances through improved estimation of runoff volumes

Kunz, Nadja & Woodley, Alan (2013) Improving the accuracy of mine site water balances through improved estimation of runoff volumes. In Moran, Chris (Ed.) Water in Mining 2013 Proceedings, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, AusIMM, Brisbane, QLD.

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A mine site water balance is important for communicating information to interested stakeholders, for reporting on water performance, and for anticipating and mitigating water-related risks through water use/demand forecasting. Gaining accuracy over the water balance is therefore crucial for sites to achieve best practice water management and to maintain their social license to operate. For sites that are located in high rainfall environments the water received to storage dams through runoff can represent a large proportion of the overall inputs to site; inaccuracies in these flows can therefore lead to inaccuracies in the overall site water balance.

Hydrological models that estimate runoff flows are often incorporated into simulation models used for water use/demand forecasting. The Australian Water Balance Model (AWBM) is one example that has been widely applied in the Australian context. However, the calibration of AWBM in a mining context can be challenging. Through a detailed case study, we outline an approach that was used to calibrate and validate AWBM at a mine site. Commencing with a dataset of monitored dam levels, a mass balance approach was used to generate an observed runoff sequence. By incorporating a portion of this observed dataset into the calibration routine, we achieved a closer fit between the observed vs. simulated dataset compared with the base case. We conclude by highlighting opportunities for future research to improve the calibration fit through improving the quality of the input dataset. This will ultimately lead to better models for runoff prediction and thereby improve the accuracy of mine site water balances.

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ID Code: 74858
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: water management, mining, hydrological modelling, australian water balance model, water accounting framework
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Management (050205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Water Resources Engineering (090509)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > RESOURCES ENGINEERING AND EXTRACTIVE METALLURGY (091400) > Mining Engineering (091405)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 10 Aug 2014 22:56
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2014 17:56

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