Mexico launches platform to monitor water use in mining

With the objective of improve water use and monitor the relationship that the activity has mining with Mexico’s aquifers, the federal government launched the Geographic Information System (GIS) called “Water and Mining”.

The head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), María Luisa Albores, recognized the importance of the mining sector for the Mexican economy, but also pointed out that “generates negative and irreparable impacts for the communities surrounding the minesrequiring large amounts of water.

Albores explained that a 80% of water extractions are for miningmainly for the production of copper, iron and gold.

almost 70% of water concessions are located in unavailable aquifers

He also indicated that the 66% of water concessions are located in unavailable aquifersand almost 19% of the water concessions for metal mining are in overexploited aquifers.

“In recent decades, the over exploitation of mining deposits has contaminated rivers and groundwater tablesand surface and groundwater have been used irrationally and irresponsibly,” said the Mexican official.

In this sense, Albores mentioned that the GIS will allow “build more sustainable water scenarios” and that promote the economic development of the regions where mining operations are located.

In By 2050, water scarcity will be “the biggest climate threat”

For his part, the general director of the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA), Adrián Pedrozo Acuña, recalled that for 2050 water scarcity will be “the biggest climate threat” for the mining industry.

“We need better governance from the water point of view within the mining sector, that is, we need to push the will of the mining sector, not just to efficiency and to prevent water pollution,” he added.

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Pedrozo also highlighted the need attend to the management of water inside the mines and how they coexist in a territory with the basin, with the aquifer and with the communities that cohabit.

Platform, first approximation of the volume of water used by mining

The new public platform was developed by IMTA and retrieves information from the Public Registry of Water Rights (REPDA) on the water concessions granted to mining companies.

This with the purpose of presenting a first approximation on the volume of water used by this industry, and which is expected to serve as an analysis tool for decision-making for the design of public policies. (EFE)

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