Services

Water Use Licence Applications

Water Use Authorizations is required in terms of Section 40 of the National Water Act. The Water Use Licence process consist of 3 distinct processes, namely:

  • The Water Use Licence Application, a document that contains all the completed Licence Application Forms (the DW forms), a copy of the receipt and other required documents (Title deeds, copies of Identity Documents and relevant agreements), as well as the Section 27 motivation.
  • The Technical Supporting Document. Depending on the specific water use applied for, this technical supporting document have a different format, containing different information. This may be as simple as a Section 21(a) application, or as complex as a Section 21(f), (g) or (c)/(i) application. Frequently, there are more water uses relevant, that need to be addressed in one document, at the same time defining the impact that the various water uses may have on other water users in the area. This document may include an EIA or Scoping section, and ERA (Environmental Risk Assessment), Cost Benefit Analysis, Monitoring and Management Plans and Strategies, and should be in line with the regional Catchment Management Plan. Also known as Integrated Water Resource Management Plans or Integrated Water and Waste Management Plans.
  • The Water Use Licence and Technical Motivation document. While this is normally completed by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, lack of resources frequently result in delays. By compiling these documents as per the departments requirements, another hurdle is crossed in the issuance of a Water Use Authorization.

Whether required to facilitate the whole process, or just assist in either one of these processes, MENCO have considerate experience in all these facets of Water Use Licencing.

Example of completed projects

Various. See also our project page

Environmental Impact Assessments 

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the possible impact–positive or negative–that a proposed project may have on the natural environment. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider environmental impacts used to decided whether to proceed with the project. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as “the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made. After an EIA, the precautionary and polluter pays principles may be applied to prevent, limit, or require strict liability or insurance coverage to a project, based on its likely harms.

The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has in terms of section 24(5), read with section 44 of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No.1 07 of 1998) (“the Act`), made the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2006, published in Government Notice No. R. 385 of 21 April 2006. The Minister has furthermore, published, in Government Notice No. R. 387 of 21 April 2006, a list of activities identified in terms of section 24(2)(a) and (d) of the Act, which may not commence without environmental authorisation from the competent authority and in respect of which the investigation, assessment and communication of potential impact of activities must follow the procedure as described in regulations 27 to 36 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2006, promulgated in terms of section 24(5) of the Act.

Example of completed projects

  • The Skychrome project included a full EIA.
  • EIA for the Tigerpoort subdivision

Basic Assessments

A Basic Assessment is effectively a small Environmental Impact Assessment, sometimes supported by one or more specialist studies.

As with the EIA, the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has furthermore, published, in Government Notice No. R. 386 of 2006, a list of activities identified in terms of section 24(2)(a) and (d) of the Act, which may not commence without environmental authorisation from the competent authority and in respect of which the investigation, assessment and communication of potential impact of activities must follow the procedure as described in regulations 22 to 26 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2006, promulgated in terms of section 24(5) of the Act.

Example of completed projects

Various. See also our project page.

 

Public Participation

Generally public participation seeks and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision. The principle of public participation holds that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. Public participation implies that the public`s contribution will influence the decision, with their opinions considered carefully in the decision-making process by the authorities. Public participation may be regarded as a way of empowerment and as vital part of a democratic and transparent governance.

Public participation allows the identification of impacts to the community that a positive (or negative) decision may have on the community, as viewed by the community. Early and continuing public involvement allows the project sponsor/owner to be aware of the problems and impacts, and to deal with these issues early. In that way, attempts can be made so that the impacts can be avoided, minimized or otherwise designed in a manner acceptable to all parties involved. If involved early, the public can provide insight (directly or indirectly) into what their community would find acceptable in the way of mitigation. Often, there are designs or enhancements that will allow the project to fit more harmoniously into the existing community.

If the demographics, values, impacts, and desires of a community are known early, and on a continuing basis through an effective public involvement process, the project sponsor/owner can better incorporate them into the design of the project. Design options can often also add enhancements into the project.

Whether Public Participation takes place as part of an EIA process to authorize a scheduled activity, EMPR process to allow mining or prospecting to take place, or part of the WULA process to authorize a water use activity, MENCO have considerable experience in Public Participation.

Example of completed projects

Various. See also our project page

Environmental Management Programme Reports

From the SEMPS required as part of application for prospecting rights, to the facilitation of the complete EMPR process (Public Participation, Scoping, Environmental Impact Assessment as well as Environmental Management Plan) as per the requirements of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, MENCO have successfully completed various projects for companies such as Samancor, International Ferro Metals and Andulasite Resources.

Example of completed projects

Various. See also our project page

Monitoring Plans: Ground and Surface Water

While the development of a Monitoring Plan normally is done as part of the EIA, WULA or EMPR process, it is sometimes required to reveiw or update, or even entirely redo the monitoring plans. In the case of the DWAF project (the Biological Remediation of the Hartbeespoort dam), it was required to review all available monitoring plans in the Hartbeespoortdam catchment, and compile an Integrated Water Monitoring Plan to co-ordinate these plans to allow the optimal extraction of information and to minimise costs. It is surprising how various monitoring plans is inadequate to define the groundwater or surface water environment, to detect impacts early, measure for the correct variables, or even to minimise costs. While the reasons for this are numerous, it is reassuring to know that MENCO have both the capability, and experience to develop adequate monitoring plans.

Example of completed projects

Various. See also our project page

 

Noise Impact Assessments

We have developed a model in-house that can address not only more than one point noise sources, but at the same time calculate the impact due to traffic, as well as the mitigation afforded by barriers and the housing of noise sources. By changing the approach to noise modeling, we have managed to prove to our clients that different options have different impacts on stakeholders, assisting them to identify appropriate management and/or alternative options that would minimize the impact on potential affected parties.

Example of completed projects

  • Skychrome Noise Impact Assessment (see Appendices).
  • Noise Impact Assessment for the update of the EMPR for Mooinooi Chrome Mine

Regulatory Support

Most of the current members of MENCO were previously employed by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. During this time they were involved with the compilation of:

  • The compilation of the format and structure of the Integrated Water and Waste Management Plan,
  • Development of the concept Integrated Water use Licence,
  • Development of operation guideline in the M-series for the compilation of the Integrated Water Resource Management Plan,
  • Appointed specialists in the Best Practice Guideline H1: Integrated Mine Water Management,
  • Involvement in the development of various Memoranda of Understandings between organs of state,
  • Involved in the development of the operational policies for the implementation of the Waste Discharge Charge System,
  • Mine Closure Strategy for the rehabilitation unit: Resource Protection and Waste,
  • The development of the Internal and External Water Use Authorization Guidelines for the DWAF;
  • Assistance to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry in Capacity Building, Training and Skills Transfer in the Water Use Authorization Process (National).