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Water in Mining 2006

Conference Proceedings

Water in Mining 2006

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The Wellington Dam Catchment - A Water in Mining Case Study

The Wellington Dam catchment has high value water, agriculture and coal and power generating resources. These conflicting land uses are managed through consultation and regulation. The Wellington Dam catchment is unique in that the Collie Coal Basin is located almost to the edge of the dam and has coal mining and power generation as its primary land use. Currently the dam is only used for irrigation due to its high salinity. The State Government has committed to reduce the dam's salt levels to below 600 mg/L by 2015 so that it can be considered for public drinking water supply._x000D_
The coal industry in conjunction with the community and State Government has worked together to enhance the water quality within the Wellington Dam to maximise its value and use by using mine dewater for industry, diverting saline Collie River flows, providing environmental (social) flows and enhancing water quality of mine voids to encourage new industry to the Collie Region._x000D_
Both surface and groundwater in the coal basin are generally fresh, whereas the salinity in the Collie River East Branch generally ranges between 3000 to 20 000 mg/L and 1700 to 10 000 mg/L in the South Branch. Mine dewatering is currently two to three times greater than the recharge to the coal basin. As a result, all mine dewater is sent to power stations in the area, with excess discharged into drainage lines which flow into the South Branch of the Collie River._x000D_
To maintain environmental and social flows some groundwater is also pumped to the South and East Branches of the Collie River during summer months._x000D_
Completed mine voids are used for recreation and options for aquaculture are promising. However, handback criteria are yet to be finalised._x000D_
FORMAL CITATION:Bills, D, 2006. The Wellington Dam catchment - a water in mining case study, in Proceedings Water in Mining 2006, pp 25-34 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2005
  • PDF Size: 1.936 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P200610003

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