Peter Shepherd

Principal Hydrologist at SRK Consulting (UK)


Minimum 3, maximum 20 delegates
Regular 4500/4800 ZAR, Students 3100 / 3400 ZAR



The impact of mining on water resources faces ever increasing scrutiny across the world, particularly in water stressed areas such as South Africa. From grassroots exploration through to operation and closure, an effective and well-managed catchment scale monitoring programme is key to minimising risk and barriers to successful mining ventures.  Failing to understand the quantity and quality of water within a catchment, and the various interfaces with a mine site, can lead to poor water management decisions and ultimately increased exposure to a wide variety of business, safety and environmental risks.  This, against a backdrop of an increasingly litigious and environmentally aware society.

Tailoring an effective monitoring network to the unique requirements of a mine site need not be a complicated or even an expensive process. However, careful planning to optimise a network, monitoring methods, and equipment to the characteristics and requirements of each area is key to the successful implementation of a long-term catchment scale monitoring program.

This workshop presents a multi-faceted approach to catchment monitoring, from initial definition of data capture objectives, to design, implementation, maintenance and data handling procedures that are essential to the sustainable collection of high quality information.  Targeted at professionals working within the mining sector, the workshop will be delivered by Peter Shepherd, an SRK Principal Hydrologist.

Workshop Program

Part A. Theory
  • Introduction and overview
  • Defining the monitoring plan objectives:
    1. Identifying key sensitivities of a project
    2. What, where, when and how; selecting what to monitor, where to monitor, the temporal frequency of data capture, and the method(s) for collection.
  • Monitoring techniques:
    1. Climatological monitoring; rainfall intensity and spatial variability, evapotranspiration and other parameters of interest
    2. Soil and vegetation monitoring; ongoing measurement of changes in environmental conditions
    3. Stream flow and quality monitoring; methods for capturing streamflow data – direct vs indirect techniques; water quality sampling; periodic vs in-situ installations
    4. Groundwater monitoring; water level and quality data capture
  • Data management:
    1. Recording and storing data
    2. Database selection and use
    3. Quality assurance techniques
    4. Optimising data for analysis
Part B. Hands-on exercise
  • Participants will use learnings from the theory section plus additional support material to design and cost a detailed monitoring program for a case-study site.
  • Feedback and discussion session.

On completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the value of catchment scale water monitoring and its application to a wide variety of mining scenarios.
  • Understand the wide range of equipment, techniques and methods available to capture, store and evaluate water data at a catchment scale.
  • Design a cost effective, optimised, catchment-scale monitoring program in any environment, tailored to the unique requirement(s) of a project.

The course will include a mix of lecture material, case studies, exercises and Q & A. A course manual that includes all course material will be available for all participants.