2 Predicting potential ecological impacts on streams
To predict the potential ecological impact of a mining activity on streams, information is required on the site’s water quality and current ecological status. This information will usually be sourced through a combination of previous reports or databases (historical data) and field surveys to establish current conditions (baseline data). Field surveys to collect baseline data are particularly important in identifying any unique features of waterways in the mine area, such as threatened ecosystems and rare species or impact from historical mining activity or other industries. These data may also influence subsequent management decisions.
This chapter provides an overview of the data required to determine the potential impact of mining on downstream water quality. The type and scope of field data collected is likely to be influenced by the historical data existing from previous work, in addition to any aspects that come to light in the early planning stages.
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