Applicability Of Water Quality Monitoring Systems And Models In Developing Countries In The Context Of Mining Development
Mining is one of the major sources of pollution to the environment. Water resources are greatly impacted by
mining and the main problem is the contamination due to acid mine drainage. Countries with well-developed mining activity
are already experiencing its impacts. The impacts are sometimes irreversibleandeven if it is possible, reclamation is costly.
Developing countries are experiencing a very rapid development of mining while not prepared to effectively monitor its
impacts to the water resources. The aim of this paper is to review and suggestsystems and models that can be used to
increasethe sustainability of river water quality monitoring in developing countries when there is mining activity.
Monitoring systems are always multipurpose and are generally not designed to monitor pollution from mining. However,
when there is mining it is important to include: turbidity, suspended solids, pH, and alkalinity,as well as the concentration of
sulfate, iron, manganese, and heavy metals in the monitored parameters. The monitoring systems can be improved by
enhancing data-sharing and centralizing the data-collection systems in the river basin. The surface water quality models
which show satisfactory results in modelling the mixing of river water with acid mine drainage are PHREEQC and
MINTEQC. However, these models are limited when it comes to simulate reaction-transport processes which characterizes
the streams affected by acid mine drainage.
Keywords- Acid mine drainage, modelling, monitoring systems, river, mining