UHMD 2014 Water Usage Results

The Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue assessed water use by the mining industry in the Upper Hunter in 2014. Using a common accounting framework, mining companies have reported their water inflows and outflows from operations. This has helped them to manage their water use and embark on water saving and reuse opportunities.
Please find the following for two types of infographic:

2014 Simple Water Usage Infographic

2014 Detailed Water Use Infographic

2014 Key Points:
  • 2014 was a drier than average year. That year 195 billion litres entered the river system in the Upper Hunter.
  • 48% of that water stayed in the river.
  • The amount of water extracted and used by farmers, residents and businesses was 49%.
  • Mining used less than 3% of the water in the system.
  • Almost 10 times as much water evaporated from the Hunter River System storage dams as was extracted from the Hunter River System by mining companies.
  • Only 12% of mine water came from rivers and alluvial aquifers.
  • 48% of mine water was sourced from onsite rainfall and runoff.
  • 34% of water was sourced from deep aquifers that are of limited use to other water users due to their high salinity.
  • The mining industry reused 51% of its water onsite.
  • Only 0.02% of mine water was discharged into the Hunter River.
  • The rainfall in Scone during 2014 was 487mm, which is below the long-term average rainfall of 644mm.  The dry conditions meant that companies did not have opportunities to discharge excess water into the Hunter River System, and were in fact keenly conserving their stored water.