New Research Shows Miners Must Pay More Attention to External Water Risks

Water Stewardship, Closure, Extraction, Remediation,

Dr. Nadja Kunz, BRIMM’s Water Stewardship Theme leader has recently been published in Water Security with her article titled “Towards a broadened view of water security in mining regions.”

In this article, Dr. Kunz introduces key water issues relating to the large-scale mining sector including risk assessment, new pressures from investors and community members and discusses how the outbound risks from mining’s interactions with water deserve greater attention.

Read more here.


There is growing attention to the importance of water issues in the mining sector from companies, community members, investors and governments. Declining ore grades, concerns about mine closure legacies, and vulnerability to physical water risks such as water scarcity and flooding are just some of the factors suggesting that mine water issues will continue to grow in magnitude, significance and complexity. In this paper, I introduce the water security community to key water issues as they relate to the large-scale mining sector. Further, I argue that mining companies have historically adopted an internally oriented definition of water risks, and argue for greater attention to the outbound risks that may arise for other actors. I conclude by discussing outstanding research challenges and opportunities that would benefit from improved engagement with the broader community of scholars working on water security challenges.

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