All mining requires water, and often lots of it. From the water for separation processes to the drinking water in the showers and canteens, different applications require different qualities and, depending on the available feedwater, different treatment methods. Mining in dry regions will prompt a strong focus on economical use and reuse, while dewatering pits in wet regions will require attention for the environment. Worldwide, the industry is adopting the use of saline or other suboptimal sources, and recycled process water.
Responsible water management has to include preventing pollution accidents caused by acid mine drainage, metal contamination, or the discharge of wastewater with high levels of solids. Responding to water issues in different circumstances, and making use of technological advances, certain risks may well be turned into opportunities for reuse, or even better water for the locals or agricultural activities.