Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 18 December 2010
The team of experts advising the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on acid mine drainage (AMD) has recommended a series of short-term measures to help address the problem, it said on Friday.
These include implementation plans, enforcing compliance, regular inspection and prevention of ingress as a short-term measure to maintain water levels at least below the relevant environmental critical level.
The IMC said in a statement it had received an updated report from the team on Wednesday.
The scope of the team’s work included assessing the work done to date, assessing available solutions and technology, and propose integrated short-, medium- and long-term solutions.
It also included assessing costs viability, as well as exploring possible partnerships with the private sector.
Government acknowledged and accepts that acid mine drainage is a problem needing to be addressed urgently.
This should be done in a co-ordinated manner between a range of stakeholders that included the mining industry and government should always play a leading role.
The team’s report advocated for the three priority basins (North, Central and Western) to have implementation plans that included pumping and neutralisation of AMD, enforcing compliance, regular inspection and prevention of ingress as a short-term measure to maintain water levels at least below the relevant environmental critical level.
The IMC believed the proposals were founded on scientific research and engineering instead of simplistic and quick solutions.
Some areas needing revisiting included the liability of polluters and costing of implementation.
The recommendations were benchmarked on some countries that had experienced AMD problems, such as Canada and the United States.
The report would be presented to Cabinet early in January next year.
Cabinet would then determine the way forward. In the meantime the team’s work continued.