In keeping with World Water Week’s theme of “Water for Sustainable Growth,” we close our conservation series by talking about water as a shared resource and about opportunities to protect its availability in the watersheds where we operate.
Global economic development, population growth and rapid urbanization continue to increase the need for all industries to consider their impacts on water. The Stockholm International Water Institute links good water governance to sustainable economic and social development: “Good water governance must include all sectors and stakeholder groups, and recognize the vital role of new public-private-civic partnerships.”
Newmont has pursued such public-private-civic partnerships as part of our sustainable development program, helping to minimize water risks for local residents. For example, we have partnered with two local community development foundations, Asociación Los Andes de Cajamarca (ALAC) and Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF), to benefit water infrastructure projects near Yanacocha in Peru and near Akyem and Ahafo in Ghana, respectively.
At Yanacocha, in partnership with the local water authority SEDECAJ, Newmont invested approximately $13 million between 2012 and 2015, which has helped the city of Cajamarca update its potable water delivery system – providing a more reliable water source for more than 180,000 people and increasing the overall availability of water by 30 percent.
Partnerships near Akyem and Ahafo have focused on fresh water supplies for neighboring communities. Through NADeF, we have helped install more than 30 community wells and five water towers, along with necessary infrastructure (power, piping and pumps). These efforts have had a direct impact on 50,000 residents, increasing their access to potable water by as much as 90 percent. Many of these small projects were completed in conjunction with the local water boards.
Even though World Water Week has come to a close, Newmont thinks about “Water for sustainable” growth each and every day. At our operations around the world, we continue to look for ways to consume less water and safely return as much water as we can to the environment, ensuring it is available for local communities for generations to come.