UHMD 2015 Water Usage Results

The Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue assessed water use by the mining industry in the Upper Hunter in 2015. 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:

2015 Simple Water Usage Infographic

2015 Detailed Water Use Infographic

Key Points:
  • 2015 was a wetter than average year. That year 471 billion litres entered the river system in the Upper Hunter.
  • 78% of that water stayed in the river.
  • The amount of water extracted and used by farmers, residents and businesses was 21%.
  • Mining used less than 1% 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 6% of mine water came from rivers and alluvial aquifers.
  • 63% of mine water was sourced from onsite rainfall and runoff.
  • 27% 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 50% of its water onsite.
  • Only 3% of mine water was discharged into the Hunter River.
  • The rainfall in Scone during 2015 was 778mm, which is above the long-term average of 644mm. The wetter conditions meant that river flows were higher, companies increased their water storage and had more opportunities to discharge water into the Hunter River System.