Surface Water Hydrology

Surface Water ManagementMWH is a leading consultant in the wet infrastructure sector and together with our environmental capabilities can provide a unique-value proposition for our clients.

MWH’s Surface Water team includes hydrologists, engineers and hydraulic modellers experienced in delivering water management solutions for a range of clients, ranging from large-scale mining operations to lot-scale developments. As part of a global, multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy, our team has specialist skills in delivering projects that require hydrological and water management expertise. In addition to a strong local expertise, MWH has the ability to call on resources from across our global network to ensure innovative and best-practice solutions for our clients.

Our team specialise in all aspects of sustainable water resource management, with skills in rainfall-runoff modelling, catchment and open channel flow analyses, hydraulic structures design, environmental monitoring, floodplain mapping, and hydraulic and engineering analyses to deliver environmentally sustainable solutions and mitigate flood impacts on infrastructure and local communities.

The quality of our analysis is maintained through our commitment to identifying and using the latest software and industry standard approaches in the interpretation and simulation of hydrological data to ensure that surface water problems are investigated efficiently and accurately. Our software capabilities include Australian Rainfall and Runoff, RORB, 1D hydraulic modelling (HEC-RAS and MIKE 11), 2D hydraulic modelling (TUFLOW, HEC-RAS, InfoWorks ICM and MIKE 21).

Surface Water ManagementAll existing and proposed mining operations are potentially at risk of flooding. An understanding of the flood risk for existing and planned mines can safeguard people, infrastructure and production continuity.

Understanding catchment hydrology and hydraulic processes allows an assessment of the potential impacts a project can have on the surrounding surface water regime. MWH uses hydrological and hydraulic modelling to estimate frequency and magnitude of floods, assess the potential impacts of flooding on the project area and design mitigation measures.

MWH can assist mining applicants to prepare reports and plans required to support environmental regulatory processes.

MWH can also support your ongoing water monitoring and management needs to ensure:

  • Continued protection against floods
  • Access to water for production and growth
  • Reduction in operating costs
  • Improvement of environmental outcomes
  • Reduction of environmental risk

We also support mine closure planning through the provision of post-closure hydrological analyses, strategic water management plans and detailed designs. Acknowledging the need for integrated solutions, MWH will liaise with specialists in relevant fields to ensure the best possible environmental, social and economic outcomes are achieved.

Mine Site Surface Water ManagementAll existing and proposed mining operations are potentially at risk of flooding. An understanding of the flood risk for existing and planned mines can safeguard people, infrastructure and production continuity.

Understanding the hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphological response to flooding events allows informed decisions for mine planning and operation. Using detailed land survey information, a flood assessment can provide input regarding the flood extent, duration, and other characteristics to allow assessment of flood-related consequence to the mine site.

In addition to legal implications, flooding may impact upon:

  • Worker safety
  • Production – potential significant economic loss
  • Environment – water disposal, clean-up costs, or impacts on wildlife and vegetation
  • Long-term reputation – media coverage, share price
  • Re-insurance after the event – potential increase in insurance premiums

MWH uses hydrological and hydraulic modelling to estimate frequency and magnitude of floods, assess the potential impacts of flooding on the project area and inform the design of flood protection and key infrastructure to protect your business and reduce the impacts of flooding.

Surface water engineers and mine staff can together estimate the costs and relative risks of flooding impacts to the mine operations. Outcomes of the flood analysis can be further assessed through a multi-criteria analysis and risk assessment process to identify the most cost-effective mitigation option.

Insuring MinesMining operations can be at risk of flooding. Insuring against the losses and inherent risks caused by floods is important for any mining company, and more importantly, that the correct level of insurance cover is obtained.

Mining companies need to work with the insurance industry to insure against the risk of flooding to the mining operation, for a defined amount of cover.

In order to ensure a mutually acceptable level of premium versus cover, both the mine operator and the insurance company must fully understand the level of risk and all the consequences resulting from flooding occurring.

Having insufficient information upon which to base a risk assessment can lead to a mine being under-insured against the true cost of a flood event, or over-insured and paying too high a premium. The same applies for an insurer – higher claims than expected on under- estimated risk or an overestimation of exposure leading to being undercut by competitors.

Obtaining an insurance quote:

To prepare a quote, the insurer will need to quantify the flood risk to be insured, with consideration for what should be insured; what limitations, exclusions or restrictions apply; and the nature of risks and hazards.

To prepare an insurance quote it is likely the insurer will require information on the following:

  • Topography – mine footprint, critical mine and transportation infrastructure;
  • History – details of the site in terms of flooding and recovery costs, including flooding and flood risk assessments;
  • Impacts and costs – this can include suspension of operations, duration of interruption, lost production and sales, loss of equipment.

Once this information is obtained, the insurer will undertake an active assessment of the information. This may include an independent flood risk assessment by an expert reviewer

Flood RiskYou can safeguard people and infrastructure and ensure production continuity by understanding the flood risk for existing and planned mines.

Understanding catchment hydrology and hydraulic processes, and how these will respond to flooding events, allow you to make informed decisions for your operation. By ensuring you have access to reliable estimates of the frequency and magnitude of floods, we are able to design flood protection and retention systems and key infrastructure, to protect your business and reduce the impacts of flooding.

Hydrological and hydraulic modelling can be used to assess the potential impacts of flooding and the effects of proposed flood mitigation options. The information can then be run through a multi-criteria analysis and risk assessment to identify the most cost effective mitigation option.

Risk from flooding: To prepare a quote, the insurer will need to quantify the flood risk to be insured, with consideration for what should be insured; what limitations, exclusions or restrictions apply; and the nature of risks and hazards.

  • Danger to worker safety
  • Potential loss of production
  • Environmental impacts
  • Issues with re-insurance after the event
  • Potential legal and litigation issues
  • Negative publicity and reputational damage
Surface Water Management capabilities and recent experience
Our Capability:
  • Historical data analysis
  • Rainfall runoff and water balance modelling
  • 1D and 2D open channel and floodplain hydraulic modelling
  • Flood inundation risk and flood hazard mapping
  • Modelling of flood management and mitigation scheme options
  • Assessment of environmental effects
  • Strategic multi-level risk based approach
  • Reservoir routing and spillway performance modelling
  • Post-closure mine hydrology
  • Provision of information for insurance purposes
Our Recent Experience:
  • Homestead Creek hydraulic modelling, BHPIO.
  • Yandi Pocket Billiard South hydraulic modelling, Calibre Global.
  • Mt Webber development project surface water assessment, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • Whaleback Creek hydraulic modelling, BHPBIO.
  • MAC TUFLOW modelling, BHPBIO.
  • Sedimentation pond design, GEMCO.
  • Abydos stage 2 surface water assessments, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • Floodplain modelling, Cape Preston Sino Iron Project, CITIC Pacific Mining.
  • Wodgina stage 3 surface water assessment, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • O’Callaghans area flood assessment and stormwater management, Newcrest Mining Limited.
  • Marillana creek flood management options investigation, BHP Billiton.
  • Ridley 2D hydrodynamic model flood assessment, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • Pardoo mine closure hydrological investigation, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • Hydrologic and hydrogeologic assessments for Stockton Ridge Mine, Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd.
  • Abydos RoM pad sediment and grit capture system, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • Solomans surface water assessment, Fortescue Metals Group.
  • Serenity surface water assessments, Fortescue Metals Group.

 

Mine Site Surface Water Management and Flood Risk Assessment capabilities and recent experience
Our Capability:
  • Rainfall-runoff and water balance modelling
  • 1D and 2D open channel and floodplain hydraulic modelling, using HEC-RAS, TUFLOW, InfoWorks, MIKE suite, waterRIDE and other industry-standard applications
  • Flood inundation risk and flood hazard mapping
  • Modelling of flood management and mitigation scheme options
  • Assessment of environmental effects
  • River diversions and realignment
  • Bank stabilisation and erosion studies
  • Hydraulic structures design
  • Material take-offs, cost estimation, and preparation of construction plans and specifications
Our Recent Experience:
  • Herberts Creek Diversion Concept Design, BHP Billiton Iron Ore
  • Whaleback Creek Hydraulic Modelling, BHP Billiton Iron Ore
  • Weeli Wolli geomorphology assessment, Rio Tinto Iron Ore
  • Marillana Creek flood management options investigation, BHP Billiton Iron Ore
  • Mt Webber development project surface water assessment, Atlas Iron Ltd
  • Abydos Stage 2 surface water assessments, Atlas Iron Ltd
  • Duchess Paradise surface water assessment, Rey Resources
  • Cape Preston Sino Iron Project floodplain modelling, CITIC Pacific Mining
  • Wodgina Stage 3 surface water assessment, Atlas Iron Ltd
  • O’Callaghans area flood assessment and stormwater management, Newcrest Mining Limited
  • Ridley 2D hydrodynamic model flood assessment, Atlas Iron Ltd
  • Solomon surface water assessment, Fortescue Metals Group
  • Pardoo mine closure hydrological Investigation, Atlas Iron Ltd
  • Stockton Ridge Mine, Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd
  • Sedimentation pond design, GEMCO
Insuring Mines Against Flood Risk capabilities and recent experience
Our Capability:
  • Historical data analysis
  • Rainfall runoff and water balance modelling
  • 1D and 2D open channel and floodplain hydraulic modelling
  • Flood inundation risk and flood hazard mapping
  • Modelling of flood management and mitigation scheme options
  • Assessment of environmental effects
  • Strategic multi-level risk based approach
  • Reservoir routing and spillway performance modelling
  • Post-closure mine hydrology
  • Provision of information for insurance purposes
Our Recent Experience:
  • Whaleback Creek hydraulic modelling, BHPBIO.
  • Herberts Creek diversion concept design, BHPBIO.
  • Homestead Creek hydraulic modelling, BHPBIO.
  • MAC TUFLOW modelling, BHPBIO.
  • Hamersley Rail surface water assessment 2D modelling, FMG.
  • Ridley 2D hydrodynamic model flood assessment, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • Cape Preston Sino Iron Project floodplain modelling, CITIC Pacific Mining.
  • Hidden Valley Creek diversion, Harmony Gold/ Newcrest JV.
Hydrology and Flood Risk Assessment capabilities and recent experience
Our Capability:
  • Historical data analysis
  • Rainfall-runoff and water balance modelling
  • 1D and 2D open channel and floodplain hydraulic modelling
  • Flood inundation risk and flood hazard mapping
  • Modelling of flood management and mitigation scheme options
  • Assessment of environmental effects
  • Strategic multi-level risk based approach
  • Reservoir routing and spillway performance modelling
  • Post-closure mine hydrology
  • Provision of information for insurance purposes
Our Recent Experience:
  • Homestead Creek hydraulic modelling, BHPBIO.
  • Whaleback Creek hydraulic modelling, BHPBIO.
  • Cape Preston Sino Iron Project floodplain modelling, CITIC Pacific Mining.
  • MAC TUFLOW modelling, BHPBIO.
  • Hamersley Rail surface water assessment 2D modelling, FMG.
  • O’Callaghans area flood assessment and stormwater management, Newcrest Mining Limited.
  • Marillana Creek flood management options investigation, BHP Billiton.
  • Ridley 2D hydrodynamic model flood assessment, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • Pardoo mine closure hydrological investigation, Atlas Iron Ltd.
  • Hydrologic and hydrogeologic assessments for Stockton Ridge Mine, Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd.

Our team specialise in all aspects of sustainable water resource management, with skills in rainfall-runoff modelling, catchment and open channel flow analyses, hydraulic structures design, environmental monitoring, floodplain mapping, and engineering analyses to deliver environmentally sustainable solutions and mitigate flood impacts on infrastructure and local communities.

The quality of our analyses is maintained through our commitment to identifying and using the latest software tools, including Australian Rainfall and Runoff, RORB, 1D hydraulic modelling (HEC-RAS and MIKE 11), 2D hydraulic modelling (TUFLOW, InfoWorks ICM and MIKE 21). These tools assist in the interpretation and simulation of hydrological data and ensure that surface water issues are investigated efficiently and accurately to provide practical solutions.


Click below to download more information about our Hydrology services.

Hydrology & Flood Risk Assessment

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Mine Site Surface Water Management

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Insuring Mines Against Flood Risk

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Surface Water Management Information

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