Circulation and reuse of mining water in Ha Long, Vietnam

Commissioned by

Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Berlin) under the framework of the research programme  “Sustainable technologies and concepts for an increase of water availability through water reuse and desalinisation” (WaVE)


Ha Long, Vietnam

Project period

2016 – ongoing

Project description

In the case of coal mining, heavy-polluted wastewater accumulates which can cause great ecological damage after being discharged into surface waters. The joint project “spatial and temporal circulation management and reuse of mining wastewater using the example of an urban mining area “WaterMiner” is looking for a solution.

The project area in Ha Long in northern Vietnam is characterized by competing land use in a limited space. The challenges and conflicts in the water sector, which are present in the field of coal mining, urban habitats and tourism in the area of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Ha-Long Bay, are countering sustainable urban and regional development.

In particular, there is a lack of an integrated water management between coal mining and the city in terms ofwater reuse and water cycle management. For this pur-pose, an innovative concept is to be developed which takes into account the spatially and temporally changing water supply of the mining industry and the different water requirements in the region.

A special feature of the joint project is the spatial-temporal approach, which is intended to enable water use under changing conditions mining in mining areas like closure of opencast mining, temporary underground mines as well as re-use of the mining areas.

All of us are still dependent on mining for raw material production. Mining is usually also associated with water production. Integrated concepts for the circulation and use of mining wastewater are also needed in many other mining areas, for example in China or South Africa. The expected results of the joint project are therefore to be transferred to other mining sites.

The WaterMiner joint project includes seven subprojects, which are being worked out by research institutes and companies as cooperation partners and future contractors for further environmental projects in Vietnam. The joint venture is coordinated by eE + E Environmental Enginieering and Ecology. The companies disy Informationssysteme GmbH, Karlsruhe, and ribeka GmbH, Bornheim, develop computer tools for data collection and data processing. These include a “mobile cadastre” for computer-based documentation and on-site monitoring of the water infrastructure, as well as an integrated “Information System for Monitoring Information” for the recording, remote transmission and evaluation of water data.

The core goal of the joint project is a computerized material flow model for the spatial and temporal planning of the reuse of mining wastewater for the mining industry itself as well as for external consumers in the Ha Long region (industry, irri-gation, etc.). Responsible for this subproject is eE + E Environmental Engineering and Ecology.

On the basis of the modelling results, the Dresden Groundwater Research Center (DGFZ), together with LUG Engineering GmbH, develops concrete tech-nical concepts for water treatment, water distribution, the regionally integrated control of water flows and the extraction of coal dust from mining wastewater.

The Department of Environmental Economics at the University of Koblenz-Landau is involved in a further subproject is dealing with economic efficiency and eco-efficiency of water reuse as well as with questions of acceptance among water users.

At a sample site, technical concepts for water treatment are set up as a pilot plant by DGFZ and LUG.

The project is carried out in close cooperation with the Vietnamese mining company VINACOMIN “Vietnam National Coal – Mineral Industries Holding Corporation”. VINACOMIN contributes, among other things, to the cost of technical implementation.

The WaterMiner project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Re-search (BMBF). It is part of the funding project “Future-capable technologies and concepts for increasing the water availability through water reuse and desalination (WavE)”.

(Official press release of the BMBF joint project WaterMiner in Vietnam 11/2016)

More information

Project website WaterMiner

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