Rio Tinto's operations rely on water. We use water at every stage of our business - for exploration, mining, processing, smelting, refining, rehabilitation and drinking. And in some parts of the world, we use significant quantities of water to generate hydroelectric power.
Water availability and quality are significant risks for a number of our businesses and can affect production and operating costs, particularly those located in areas where there is increased competition for water supplies. Other operations must manage surplus water from storms or groundwater.
Water is not just a technical or environmental issue - it is a cross functional challenge involving social, cultural, economic, policy aspects which are complicated, challenging, long term with significant interest and scrutiny from local, national and international stakeholders.
Rio Tinto's Water Strategy aims to position Rio Tinto as a responsible water manager by encouraging long term approach on water use, managing risks and opportunities; and promoting better performance.
In Australia, we have developed innovative technology and practices to save and reuse water. We support the National Water Initiative, which is reforming the way water is managed. We also chaired a working group of government, industry, researchers, and NGOs to produce a practical manual on water management in 2008 as part of the Australian Government's "Leading practice sustainable development program for the mining industry".
Mine invests in fish habitats in the Upper Hunter River
- Coal & Allied's Mount Thorley Warkworth site supports a project to improve native fish habitat and riverbank stability in the Upper Hunter River.