Water Management Workshop

By on January 28, 2020

GAVIN MOREIRA, Member Services Manager for CMPA reports on the successful day held in the East Gippsland area of Victoria for CMPA members.

On 21st November 2019 the CMPA held a workshop to develop a Template/Guideline on Water Management Plans necessary, in the first instance, for the Work Plan approval process.

This will enable Quarry owners / Managers and other interested parties to gain an understanding (and impart knowledge) of how to manage water on and surrounding a quarry site through the life of a quarry ensuring compliance with relevant legislation.

The day commenced at the Drouin Golf & Country Club with about 45 CMPA members and others in attendance. One of our key sponsors for the day Daniel Webber (CDE Global Australia) provided a presentation on the companies wet processing plants and the importance of utilising water effectively.

The first presentation was by Jessica Bandiera, Manager Gippsland Region for EPA. She discussed the role of EPA in the extractive industry and the changes to the new EP Act to come into effect in July 2020. She also provided information on what a Water Management Plan should include and resources that are being developed for industry.

Workshop – Presentation by Adam Dunn from the
West Gippsland CMA.

Next up was Matt Hudson, Manager Hydrogeology, Water Plans & Policies for Southern Rural Water (SRW). He spoke to the group about the role of SRW, water entitlement framework in Victoria, the hierarchy of water management in Victoria and the various licensing options. He also highlighted the importance of monitoring, annual reporting, compliance with licence conditions and including rehabilitation water requirements in management plans and ensuring they are viable.

Following morning tea Adam Dunn from West Gippsland CMA spoke about what CMA’s are and their role as well as the Statutory Framework that is in place in Victoria.

Discussions were then had on what impacts extraction of building materials can have on the floodplain and waterways on the quarry site and the surrounding areas.

The final regulator to present was David Western from ERR who provided a good summary on the responsibilities:

ERR – lead agency for water on slope stability issues (movement and erosion) and regulation of site water management controls
EPA – lead agency for offsite water quality and discharge licensing
Water Authorities – lead agency water resource management and water licensing
Catchment Management Authorities and Melbourne water – lead agency for river and catchment health, works on waterway permits and floodplain approvals

Water Monitoring on site at Neerim North Quarry.

As well as providing valuable information on the workplan application process and the controls required for water, stormwater drainage, sedimentation and erosion and fuel, lubricant and hazardous materials. He also highlighted key points for water management (co)regulation for quarry owners.

A sit down lunch brought opportunities to network with fellow members and to discuss what had been learned during the morning’s presentations.

After lunch another sponsor James Murphy (Terex Washing Systems) provided a presentation with live case studies of quarries using different washing systems. He discussed the benefits of using water efficiently.

Valenza Engineering also a sponsor was up next providing a theoretical presentation on “Understanding Water Management in the Quarry Environment”. The basis of the talk was a case study on Casacir’s Neerim North Quarry which was the quarry we were to visit later in the afternoon. Alexis Valenza and Joshua O’Connor spoke about the effects of water on dry quarries (above the water table) and wet quarries (intersect the water table) and the pros and cons of both. Also, the importance of getting a good water balance on site to begin with and looking at the impacts of water management on safety and cost savings and the effects on surrounding users. Water management also helps to prevent groundwater and surface water pollution.

Casacir – Quarry floor at Neerim North Quarry.

The second part of the presentation was from a practical sense looking at how to assess the water resource and the dewatering needs of the quarry; this utilised a case study of a quarry undertaking dewatering and discharging water to a nearby creek under EPA and GMW licence and looked at the important steps involved.

Our final presentation was from David Jeffrey, General Manager (Casacir) who provided the group with background information on the development of the Neerim North quarry.

We then jumped on the coach and headed up the highway. The group gained a practical understanding from Valenza Engineering of water monitoring and the systems set up at the quarry and how they are managed on and off site.

A bonus for those on the bus was a chance to walk the quarry floor with the crushers in full operation, thanks again to David Jeffrey.

Thanks again also to all the presenters, to our sponsors CDE Global Australia, Terex Washing Systems and Valenza Engineering and to Casacir for allowing the group to visit the Neerim North Quarry.

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