IWRM-tested national law and policies
: towards catchment-based management of water resources during the life cycle of large-scale mining sites

  • Ariel Humphrey

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Negative impacts of large-scale metal/mineral mining (LSM) on the quantity and quality of surface and ground water resources within the catchment are systematic occurrences during both mining and post-mining phases. The lack of adequate engagement by mining companies with interested and affected water resources stakeholders, makes mitigating such impacts difficult. At national scale, the legal regulation of LSM and the legal management and protection planning of water resources in LSM context are accomplished through three intersecting branches of law namely mining law, water resources law, and environmental protection law. The lack of adequate coordination between these branches of law and policies constitutes an obstacle towards reconciling competing economic profitability and socio-environmental protection. The thesis intends to test this law triptych against functional and process sustainable development-based IWRM integration indicators. The selected functional IWRM-type integration indicators consist of the planning and management of land and water resources, of surface and ground waters, and of water quality with water quantity. The selected process IWRM-type integration indicators consist of three stakeholder engagement processes namely inter-agency cooperation between water, environmental protection and mining bodies at state level, multi-stakeholder cooperation (including mining companies) at catchment level and vertical cooperation between state and catchment levels. The study of the manifestation of these indicators is conducted by comparing the South African, Western Australian and Ontario jurisdictions in general and specifically during pre-mining, mining and post-mining phases to determine whether these branches of law separately and jointly require or fail to require (i) mining, environmental protection and water resources management governmental bodies to cooperate to establish a coordinated mining/water inter-agency policy framework (ii) mining companies to engage with stakeholders to achieve integrated mine water protection and management planning, and (iii) vertical cooperation between state and catchment levels.
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorSarah Hendry (Supervisor) & Andrew Allan (Supervisor)

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