Solutions to Global Challenges

Mine water management

Garner the power of specialised modelling technology and real-time data to bolster the effectiveness of your integrated water management strategy

The issue

Water is vital to the efficient operation of a mine. Water surplus or scarcity can severely limit mineral production. A secure water supply is critical to obtaining mining permits. Water usage and discharge quality can have major implications for neighboring communities. Untreated effluent, as well as contaminated surface water runoff and groundwater, can impact the environment and drinking water supplies.

Why it matters

Mines require a comprehensive water management plan. Without this they risk unexpected interruptions and cannot operate efficiently or sustainably. Yet, water management is traditionally confined to the mine site and only focuses on how water is used and moved around the mine. It typically relies on manual analysis and static models – despite mines being highly dynamic environments. The narrow, on-site focus ignores the fact that mines are part of a larger watershed with influence far beyond their boundaries.

How we can help

An integrated water management strategy covers the entire mine life cycle in a watershed context. This provides a level of reliability unachievable with traditional approaches. We use physics-based modeling to evaluate the interactions between runoff, evapotranspiration and infiltration. DHI can also centralize your water forecasts, monitoring and models into an integrated mine water platform. Site data can be processed in real-time for powerful insight into the mine water balance to reduce your costs while maintaining efficient operations.

Integrated solutions

Using real-time data, remote sensing, online monitoring and recognised numerical and physical modelling, DHI offers a realm of digital solutions to ensure your mine runs efficiently with minimal environmental impact.

Plan groundwater extraction for open-pit dewatering

FEFLOW is the industry's premier groundwater software for modelling open pit dewatering. It accurately models the geology and geometry of a mine site while considering geochemical and hydrologic conditions. Account for faulting and fractures, the presence of surface water bodies and wetlands, spatial and temporal distribution of recharge, density-dependent flow and water quality. Use FEFLOW to facilitate decisions related to drilling, construction and optimisation of dewatering wells including pumping rates and distribution.

Boost decision making with an operational mine water management system

DHI’s newest operational planning tool, MIKE Mine can synchronise your dewatering program and mine water management from planning to production. This premier tool centralises online and offline data into customisable dashboards accessible anytime, anywhere from any device. Benefit from automated forecasting and analysis to reduce water management costs. Get all the answers at your fingertips and focus your time on risk analyses and decision making.

Effectively determine site-wide and watershed scale water balances

To manage water quantity and quality, a strong understanding of the hydrology and hydrogeology is required. DHI can develop deterministic and probabilistic mine water balances that account for surface water, groundwater and watershed hydrology interactions using MIKE SHE and innovative model couplings. Mine managers can then gain a better understanding of the local hydrologic cycle to develop effective, integrated management strategies.

Better evaluate slope stability with pore pressure analyses

In mining, it’s vital to keep the bottom of a pit dry. In fact, seepage coming out of a pit wall brings real danger of collapse. To mitigate this risk, DHI can create a high-resolution 3D groundwater flow model in FEFLOW specifically designed to evaluate pit groundwater inflows and pit wall depressurisation under various pit configurations. Insight from such models has proven effective at increasing the reliability of critical pore pressure estimates.

Featured software subscription package


Plan and execute a life-of-mine integrated mine water management strategy with affordable access to FEFLOW FM3 for flow and mass modelling plus piChem for modelling geochemical reactions.


Cloud technology: How a visual overview makes mine water management easier

In mining, water is used to manage dust emissions, wash ore, slurry tailings and generate power. Nevertheless, to ensure long-term responsible and sustainable water management practices in mining, it is critical that operators can quickly get a complete visual overview of water systems and site conditions.

Read more

Featured training


Getting started with groundwater modelling using FEFLOW

Register for this no-fee*, self-paced, modular online course to learn the basic concepts of groundwater modelling using FEFLOW. Each module includes videos and/or reading materials as well as short quizzes and assignments to obtain in-depth knowledge. The course takes two hours to complete.

Available anytime | Register


Groundwater modeling within the mining context using FEFLOW

FEFLOW allows you to simulate a multitude of groundwater processes involving flow, contaminants, groundwater age and heat transport under fully or variably saturated conditions. Watch this pre-recorded webinar for a demonstration of how to get started using FEFLOW at mine sites.

Available anytime | Watch


2021 FEFLOW International User Conference - "Innovative solutions for challenges in groundwater modelling"

Join fellow FEFLOW users and renowned experts from across the globe in beautiful Vancouver, BC Canada for this four-day biannual event. Together we will exchange ideas, share experiences, explore the latest innovations and trends in groundwater modelling, discuss practical challenges and potential solutions. This conference begins with two days of presentations by FEFLOW users and keynote speakers followed by two days of training workshops.

20-23 Sept 2021 | Vancouver, BC Canada | Details
*In exchange for course access, I agree to receive marketing material from DHI Group through e-mails, social media and apps about our products and services. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Tell us about your project

Book a complimentary 30-minute consultation with a mining expert to discuss the specific needs of your project.

Ask a question

Request a consultation or more information

DHI is here to provide you with more information, answer any questions you may have, and discuss the best services and technological solutions to help tackle your mine water management challenges.
DHI are the first people you should call when you have a tough challenge to solve in a water environment – be it a river, a reservoir, an ocean, a coastline, within a city or a factory. Our knowledge of water environments is second-to-none. It represents more than 50 years of dedicated research and real-life experience from more than 140 countries. We strive to make this knowledge globally accessible to clients and partners by channelling it through our local teams and unique software. Our world is water. So whether you need to save water, share it fairly, improve its quality, quantify its impact or manage its flow, we can help. Our knowledge, combined with our team’s expertise and the power of our technology, holds the key to unlocking the right solution.