UHMD 2016 Water Usage Results

The Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue assessed water use by the mining industry in the Upper Hunter in 2016. 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:

2016 Simple Water Usage Infographic

2016 Detailed Water Use Infographic

2016 Key points:
  • 2016 was a slightly wetter than average year. That year 274 billion litres entered the river system in the Upper Hunter.
  • 62% of that water stayed in the river.
  • The amount of water extracted and used by farmers, residents and businesses was 36%.
  • Mining used less than 2% of the water in the system.
  • Almost 7 times as much water evaporated from the Hunter River System storage dams as was extracted from the Hunter River System by mining companies.
  • Only 10% of mine water came from rivers and alluvial aquifers.
  • 55% of mine water was sourced from onsite rainfall and runoff.
  • 28% 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 47% of its water onsite.
  • Only 4% of mine water was discharged into the Hunter River.
  • The rainfall in Scone during 2016 was 665mm, which is above the long-term average of 641mm. 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.