Our Capabilities

Predictive Water Balance Modelling

water balance modelling HEC are experienced water modellers in all phases of the mining process including planning, design, construction, operation, project evaluation, and final landform and closure.

We utilise industry standard software including systems such as GoldSim and OPSIM to more simple representations using Microsoft Excel.  We are proficient in development of new water balance models as well as review and improvement of existing water balance models.  All of our water balance models include quality assurances such as internal balance checking and trackable revision history.

Water balance models can be used to support an approval for a new project and improve water management strategies for an existing project.  Our water balance models can be tailored to accommodate client requirements; modelling can be carried out in house or a user friendly system provided for site use.  

Key results from water balance modelling include:

  • Spill Risk
  • Water supply reliability
  • Risk of operational disruption
  • Downstream impacts
  • Trigger Action Response Plans (TARPs)

Water balance modelling can include simulation of contaminants such as salinity.  For mine sites needing to comply with release conditions, simulation of contaminants can provide a level of confidence to predict infrastructure requirements. 

Corporate or Regulatory Water Reporting

corporate water reportingAnnual reporting is typically needed to satisfy Corporate and/or Regulatory requirements.  Corporate reporting could include company specific protocols which can be developed in consultation with our clients.  Regulatory reporting in NSW can include Annual Reviews (previously Annual Environmental Monitoring Reports [AEMRs]) and in QLD this covered by requirements resulting from an Environmental Authority (EA).  We can also carry out site specific reporting requirements as needed (eg. Quarterly, bi-annually or annually).

We are experts in reporting under the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) Water Accounting Framework (WAF) having completed numerous automated reporting packages for a number of operations.

Water Management Plans

water managementWater Management Plans (WMPs) are usually required as part of a development consent or Environmental Authority.  We can tailor a WMP to suit an individual site and corporate requirements which may include the following:

  • Forecast Site Water Balance
  • Water Monitoring Program
  • Response Plans
  • Erosion & Sediment Control Plan (ESCP)
  • Contaminant Source Study
  • Infrastructure Planning
  • Site Drainage Optimisation

Design of Water Management Structures

water structuresWe are specialists in the design of water management structures such as:

  • Drains
  • Dams
  • Culverts
  • Creek & River Diversions
  • Erosion Protection
  • Sediment Control Structures
  • Drop Structures
  • Spillways
  • Pipe & Pump Networks

The software we use includes AutoCAD, 12d, Pipe2000 and RORB.

Monitoring

monitoringWe provide a number of water flow & quality monitoring services to support baseline monitoring (climate and hydrology), compliance monitoring, and impact assessment monitoring for both surface water and groundwater.  

Specific monitoring includes:

  • Streamflow gauging stations
  • Manual streamflow gaugings
  • In-situ water testing
  • Pluviometers and rain gauges
  • Water level monitoring

We have in-house statistical expertise to analyse the data and develop site-specific performance indicators including reporting triggers for assessing impact.

Water Supply

water supply schemesWe have been involved in a number of water supply schemes including estimation of water supply requirements and development of solutions to meet these needs.  This involves yield estimation, prediction of reliability, design and costing and regulatory approvals and licencing.  We have also designed existing scheme augmentation as well as undertaking performance reviews.

Flood Modelling

flood modelling

Our extensive experience in flood prediction includes the development of 1D and 2D models using HEC-RAS, TUFLOW and RMA-2.  Model results include water surface elevation, inundation extent, velocity, shear stress and depth.  We have used flood models to assess:

  • Flooding risk
  • Design of flood mitigation structures such as levees and diversions
  • Subsidence impacts including erosion control and ponding
  • Drainage design

Mine Site Rehabilitation and Closure

mine site rehabilitationWe are accomplished in design of final landform drainage for long term stability.  We have developed a number of final void models to assess equilibrium level and salinity.  We are familiar with the regulatory requirements in terms of mine lease relinquishment as well as corporate responsibility and community expectations.  

Given the time frame associated with attaining long term stability of a final landform, we assess the potential of climate change by incorporating the latest CSIRO predictions and test the sensitivity on predicted outcomes.

Approvals

We regularly undertake surface water assessments as part of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs).  These include water balance predictions, water management system design and surface water impact assessment.  We also produce supporting documentation for pre-feasibility studies (PFS), feasibility studies (FS), risk assessments, preliminary environmental reports (PERs) and statement of environmental effects (SEEs).  Our expertise also includes presentations to regulatory agencies, community groups and other stakeholders.

Expert Legal Advice and Peer Review

Our experienced engineers have been selected to provide legal advice in both the public and private sectors.   We have prepared expert reports including joint expert statements and provided expert testimony in court proceedings. Our staff have appeared before a number of environmental planning commissions and hearings.

We routinely undertake the peer review of other water experts’ reports and provide detailed assessment of key assumptions, methodology and outcomes. 

 

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