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Mine Water and the Environment

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 147–158 | Cite as

Renewed Demands for Mine Water Management

  • Stephen Hancock
  • Christian Wolkersdorfer
IMWA Insights

Abstract

The intensity and diversity of resource development projects has increased by orders of magnitude over the past two decades. At the same time, there has been an emphasis on environmental issues, decontamination of former industrial sites, a recognition of global warming issues, and a focus on the ability of project developers to initiate, operate, and close transient projects without compromising the land and water resource values that underpin existing and future land uses. This concurrence of issues is creating a massive demand for hydrogeologists and groundwater engineers throughout the world. Neither academic institutions nor their funding bodies have foreseen this demand. As a consequence, Australia is seeking to fill its demands by either temporary or permanent importation of skills but, since the same issues afflict other countries, or may come to do so in the near future, the Australian approach will probably be only marginally successful. Another issue confronting all countries active in groundwater management is that the range of skills now required for competent groundwater management around resource development projects have increased. These cannot be readily met by simply increasing the training load on new industry entrants. Rather, delegation of expertise will be necessary and management teams will need to include diverse professions in teams in order to cover the range of responsibilities that must be applied if sustainable decisions are to be made. The authors believe that there is an urgent need for groundwater managers to take up the learning opportunities and expand their skills by working even more internationally. This process should ensure cross fertilization of experience to the benefit of all the countries where groundwater issues are taken seriously.

Keywords

Hydrogeology Groundwater management Employment prospects Career development Coal seam gas Environmental planning Project closure Employment Australia International employment International training accreditation Mining 

Neue Anforderungen im Grubenwassermanagement

Auszug

Die Intensität und Vielfalt von Projekten zur Rohstofferschließung haben in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten um Größenordnungen zugenommen.Gleichzeitig haben Umweltaspekte, die Sanierung früherer Industriestandorte und Initiativen im Zusammenhang mit globaler Erwärmung an Bedeutung gewonnen. Von Projektentwicklern wird erwartet, Projekte so zu initiieren, zu betreiben und abzuwickeln, dass die wertvollen Boden- und Wasservorkommen für gegenwärtige und künftige Nutzungen erhalten bleiben.Diese vielfältigen, teils gegensätzlichen Anforderungen bedingenweltweit einen enormenBedarf an Hydrogeologen und Grundwasseringenieuren, den weder akademische Einrichtungen noch deren Geldgeber vorhergesehen haben.Australien versucht deshalb, seinen Bedarf befristet oder dauerhaftdurch Fachpersonal aus dem Ausland zu decken. Dieser Ansatz ist möglicherweise nur bedingt erfolgversprechend, da andere Länder mit derselben Situation konfrontiert sind oder sich ihr eventuell in Zukunft stellen müssen.Darüber hinaus hat sich in allen Ländern der Umfang der Fähigkeiten erweitert, die wesentlich für kompetentes Grundwassermanagement im Rahmen der Rohstofferschließung sind.DiesesWissen kannBerufsanfängern nicht ohne weiteres durch verstärktes Training vermittelt werden.Stattdessen wird es notwendig sein, externes Fachwissen heranzuziehen und Managementteams aus unterschiedlichen Spezialisten zusammenzusetzen, um sämtliche Verantwortungsbereiche für nachhaltige Entscheidungen abzudecken.Die Verfasser sind der Ansicht, dass Fachkräfte im Grundwassermanagement Weiterbildungsmöglichkeiten wahrnehmen müssen und ihre Kenntnisse durch internationale Tätigkeit erweitern sollten.Von diesem wechselseitigen Erfahrungsaustauschsollten alle Länder profitieren, die Grundwasserprobleme ernst nehmen.

Demandas renovadas para la gestión del agua de minas

Resumen

La intensidad y diversidad de proyectos de desarrollo de recursos se ha incrementado varios órdenes de magnitud en las últimas dos décadas. Al mismo tiempo, ha habido un énfasis en cuestiones ambientales, decontaminación de antiguos sitios industriales, un reconocimiento de problemas globales y se ha focalizado en el desarrollo de proyectos que se inicien, operan y se cierren sin comprometer los recursos de tierra y aguas que apuntalen usos existentes y futuros de la tierra. Esta coincidencia de diferentes cuestiones está creando una demanda masiva de hidrogeólogos y ingenieros en aguas subterráneas a través del mundo. Ni las instituciones académicas ni las organizaciones que las financian han previsto esta demanda. Como consecuencia, Australia está buscando atender esas demandas con la importación temporaria o permanente de estas habilidades pero, situaciones similares afligen otros países o lo harán en el futuro próximo haciendo esta búsqueda muy poco exitosa. Otro aspecto que deben atender todos los países en el manejo de las aguas subterráneas es que el rango de habilidades que se requiere en la actualidad se ha incrementado. Estas no se pueden conseguir simplemente incrementando la carga de entrenamiento en las nuevas industrias. En cambio, serán necesarios expertos y equipos de gestión que incluyan diversas profesiones en función de cubrir todo el rango de responsabilidades que deben ser aplicadas para tomar decisiones sustentables. Los autores creen que hay una urgente necesidad de gestores de aguas subterráneas que tomen las oportunidades de aprender y expandir sus habilidades trabajando en cooperación internacional. Este proceso debería asegurar el intercambio de experiencia para beneficiar a todos los países donde el problema del agua subterránea está siendo tomada seriamente.

资源开采业的水资源管理新需求

抽象

在过去的20多年间里,资源开发项目的种类和数量成倍激增。同时,人们更加重视环境问题,关注历史遗留工业场地污染治理,承认全球变暖事实;为不损害现有和未来土地、水资源价值,更加重视项目开发者启动、运营和关闭短期工程的能力。该形势使全球范围内水文地质学家和地下水工程师需求迅速增长。教育机构及其董事们尚未充分预见到这一需求变化。澳大利亚正在努力通过暂时或长期技术输入的方法满足需求。水文地质专业人才不足的问题同样也困扰着许多其他国家。澳大利亚方法难以使水文地质人才需求问题根本解决。地下水管理方面的另一个问题是资源开发工程对水资源管理提出系列新技术要求。该问题并不能通过加大新增从业人员技术培训而轻易解决。为此,胜任的专家组和多专业构成的管理团队必不可少。当开发项目做出可持续性决策时,不同专业能够承担各自专业责任。作者认为,目前地下水管理人员急需接受继续学习,在管理工作中深入推广水资源管理新技术和经验,并努力使所有受地下水问题困扰的国家受益

Notes

Acknowledgments

In preparing this paper, the authors have received significant assistance from the hydrogeological staff of URS Australia Pty Ltd in establishing the proportions of graduates from earth science and engineering degrees who move on to become groundwater practitioners and in identifying the magnitude of the demand for groundwater specialists. The authors also thank E. L. & C. Baillieu Stockbroking Ltd for permission to use market development data that they had prepared for other purposes.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.URS Australia Pty LtdMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Mine Water Remediation and ManagementCape Breton UniversitySydneyCanada
  3. 3.WendelsteinGermany

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