Knight Piésold Canada Discusses Climate Variability in Water Balance Modelling at the Mine Water Solutions Conference

June 22, 2018, Vancouver, BC, Canada – Knight Piésold Canada shared its approach to incorporating climate variability into water modelling and design at Mine Water Solutions 2018. Held on June 12-15 at the University of British Columbia, the conference covered all aspects of water management, facilitating discussion on successful practices that enable responsible mining to be undertaken in challenging environments.  

Alana Shewan, senior engineer, presented a paper titled “Incorporating Climate Variability into Water Balance Modelling to Help Inform Water Management Design: The Pebble Mine Project” during the water management in extreme climates session. Co-authored with Jaime Cathcart, specialist hydrotechnical engineer, the paper highlighted the importance of establishing a predictive, climate variable water balance model for informing water management planning and design and used the proposed Pebble Mine Project in Alaska as a case study. The project used 68-years of synthetic climate data that were incrementally stepped through in the model for the planned life of the project to preserve the inherently cyclical naturel of the climate record including wet and dry cycles. This resulted in developing a water management strategy that supplies sufficient water to maintain full mine operations, while maintaining downstream flow requirements for aquatic resources under a wide range of climatic conditions.

The paper received keen interest from conference delegates, including GoldSim developers, mine water managers of existing mines, representatives from mining companies, and other consultants, who were very impressed with Knight Piésold’s methodology and approach to water management evaluation. In addition, Shewan was a technical committee member and chair of the case studies session.