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Liquid Assets: Water Footprint and Access to Capital

Maureen Upton
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
First presented: 
PDAC 2017

The impacts of mining activity on water – scarcity, quality, cultural aspects – are at the heart of the largest and most damaging stakeholder conflicts, having stalled billions of dollars in projects around the world. Long-term changes in water sheds, and availability and abundance of water in mining locations have become central issues for operators. Emerging methodologies of water impact assessment throughout the mining lifecycle, or water footprinting, have advanced the industry’s understanding of the direct and indirect effects of water interactions during production activities and the supply chain.
At the same time, the socially responsible investing (SRI) movement, or “impact investing”, has begun to focus more on water – infrastructure and technology development to manage water use or ensure an adequate water supply in the face of growing populations and changing climate, as well as general sustainable development principles. Although mining is not one of the leading industries in term of water use globally, its local and regional impacts are felt and scrutinized by communities, regulators, and increasingly, investors. This presentation will examine the intersection of water footprint and access to capital for mining companies.
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Feature Author

Maureen Upton
Maureen Upton is a leading expert in sustainable development, with over 27 years of professional experience focused mainly in the extractive industries. She has authored many publications on the economic and social impact of mining, given keynote speeches at industry events around the world, and produced films focused on the human impact of resource extraction. She is one of the industry's thought leaders on social license to operate, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, international economic development, and occupational and community health. As a Spanish and Portuguese speaker, her work and travel have taken her across five continents and 32 countries assessing the economic and social impact of mining. 
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