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Web-Based water balances with SRK & MMS WIRE

Xanthe Adams
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
First presented: 
SAIMM | New Technology 2019
Water Management
Date: 05 June 2019
Electronic Poster
* Water is crucial to both mining and the communities surrounding mining. Water balances can be thought of as a basic accounting system for water. Consequently, they form the basis of all analysis and decisions regarding the use, protection and discharge of water. Previously water balances have been compiled for Mines by consultants using data from the last few months or the last year and then presented in reports or emailed dashboards or excel files. Although still much needed for certain analyses, this approach to water balances has disadvantages such as problems with equipment, leaks or contaminated discharges only being recognised a few months after the fact. With more and more equipment able to report data to the internet and water becoming scarcer, a system with a quicker response time is becoming both possible and essential.
* SRK Consulting and Metal Management Solutions (MMS) have been working together to create such a system. The foundation of the system is MMS’s WIRE Software and SRK’s expertise in mining and water. The main advantage of the software is that it is web-based and it still has all the functionality of a normal water balance including flow charts, input sheets, equations and graphs. For the Mine, this means that their water data is in a user-friendly dashboard which is accessible at the click of a button. The Mine also has the assurance that the data is being managed by an experienced consultant. Another advantage is the business model of a consultant and a software provider working closely together. In fact, from the Mines point of view, the two businesses work seamlessly together and the Mine has only one point of contact at SRK Consulting.

WIRE Water Balance showing the low relative contribution of the Mine to a wetland

More details of the system include the following. In terms of data input, MMS-WIRE can receive data from monitoring equipment which is then compiled into an analytical water balance by skilled professionals at SRK Consulting. MMS WIRE can also receive manual inputs from field staff. It can calculate important results from the data and then push these to cell phones or to customizable dashboards. The software allows for multi-user access with different levels of access for people in the field compared to head office. It allows flow chart building, provides graphs and can sort items by KPI level. For example, a water level indicator reading continuously could trigger cell phone alerts if the reading indicates that water levels are a risk. SRK’s experienced professional team can advise on risk levels and trigger levels to be programmed into the system. That advice is based on years of experience integrated with MMS WIRE analysis as well as analysis using other state of the art software tools, models and studies. Where specific functions are required, MMS can custom code. Long term balances and detailed balances of how a Mines water system performs can also be compiled in MMS WIRE with the assistance of SRK.


Xanthe Adams

Xanthe Adams | Principal Environmental Engineer | SRK Consulting | Cape Town | South Africa.

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SRK Africa