IMWA - International Mine Water Association

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International Mine Water Association Download PDF Version

Granada, Spain – November 1979
Nottingham, England – April 1980
Nottingham, England – September 1986
Ustron, Poland – September 2000
Johannesburg, South Africa – October 2003
Carlsbad, Czech Republic – June 2008
Aachen, Germany – September 2011
Electronic Ballot – September 2012
Electronic Ballot – May 2015
Lappeenranta, Finland – June 2017


Increasing world-wide problems with water associated with mining operations prompted one of the first major international meetings in this field – “Water in Mining and Underground Works” – which was held in Granada, Spain, in September 1978. The success of this meeting led to the First International Mine Drainage Symposium held in Denver, Colorado, USA, in May 1979. The interest shown at both of these international meetings resulted in proposals to start an association focussing on promoting world-wide cooperation in the field of water in mining, and this was enthusiastically welcomed by participants from several countries.

Consequently, the first meeting of the International Mine Water Association (IMWA) was held in Granada, Spain, in November 1979 to discuss formation and organisation of the association. The following attendees constituted the Founding Members of IMWA and comprised the first Executive Council:

Canada Charles O. Brawner
Federal Republic of Germany  Klaus H. Peretti
Hungary Zsolt Kesserû
India Balemale M. Bhat
Poland Jacek Libicki
Spain Rafael Fernández-Rubio
UK Barry N. Whittaker and Raghu N. Singh
USA Roy E. Williams

A preliminary set of Statutes of IMWA were formulated by the Founding Members at the November 1979 Granada meeting.

The preliminary Statutes were discussed at a second meeting of the Executive Council held at Nottingham, UK in April 1980 and were adopted with amendments as the Statutes and By-Laws of IMWA and presented to the First General Assembly of IMWA at Budapest, Hungary in 1982. Further amendments to the Statutes and By-Laws of IMWA were formulated at the 8th meeting of the Executive Council at Nottingham, UK, in 1986 and were proposed and adopted at the 3rd General Assembly of IMWA held in Melbourne, Australia in 1988. Subsequent Amendments were presented at the Ustron, Poland meeting in 2000, the Johannesburg, South Africa Congress in 2003, the Carlsbad, Czech Republic Congress in 2008, and the Aachen, Germany Congress in 2011 and adopted by the General Assemblies at each. A change in the membership fees was adopted by electronic ballot submitted by members between July and September 2012. The 2015 amendment of the Statutes, now called By-Laws, reflects the increasing membership of IMWA as well as several inconsistencies and was adopted by the 2017 General Assembly in Lappeenranta, Finland.




1.1 The name of the organisation is the “International Mine Water Association”, hereafter referred to as IMWA.

1.2 IMWA is a non-governmental, non-profit scientific and technical organization. IMWA is incorporated in the United States as a Colorado non-profit organization (Registration No. 20131524971).

1.3 The legal address of IMWA will be determined by the Executive Council (EC).


2.1 The main objective of IMWA is to address water problems that occur during the exploration, development, operation, and closure of mines and to provide guidance on such matters as IMWA aims to improve the science and engineering practice of mine water management during all phases of mining operations, from exploration through to closure and beyond. Aspects relevant to IMWA include:

2.1.1 Improved safety from water hazards during mining operations;

2.1.2 Protection of the environment against the effects of mine drainage, regarding both water quality and groundwater levels, particularly in the long term;

2.1.3 Improved technology and economy of mine drainage operations;

2.1.4 Improved utilization of mine waters including geothermal applications;

2.1.5 Better application of hydrogeological science to slope stability and underground mine stability, during design and operation phases particularly;

2.1.6 Groundwater-related aspects of coal seam gas and shale gas exploitation;

2.1.7 Improving the reliability of predictions of mine water quality;

2.1.8 Emerging mine water issues.

2.2 These aspects will be supported by:

2.2.1 An active Executive Council that is charged with the responsibility of running IMWA

2.2.2 The publication of a journal

2.2.3 Regular conferences, mostly international but regional and local as appropriate

2.2.4 Liaison and joint conferences with related organisations

2.2.5 Effective communication with its members by means that include its website

2.2.6 Other activities as the Executive Committee may, from time to time, initiate, such as:

a. The formation of a Working Groups to examine various aspects of mine water related matters

b. The initiation of a liaison structure between various groups and professionals involved in mine water in whatever ways

c. The recognition of eminent scientists, engineers, and organizations in the honour of their contribution in the field of mine water management.

2.3 IMWA aims to achieve these objectives, enumerated in section 2.2, through the following actions:

2.3.1 Promoting the development of science and technology concerned with water in mining.

2.3.2 Promoting, developing and co-ordinating co-operation among persons and organizations of different countries engaged in scientific or engineering work in the field of mine water problems and related sciences.

2.3.3 Encouraging and facilitating research, education and training related to scientific and practical problems of water in mining and allied operations.

2.3.4 Promoting implementation of improved technology to mine drainage practice.

2.3.5 Promoting exchange of scientific and engineering information.

2.3.6 Encouraging the exchange of visits of persons between countries, either as individuals or teams.

2.3.7 Organizing international meetings and promoting regional and national conferences and symposia with international participation.

2.3.8 Publishing and distributing papers and promoting discussions related to the objectives of IMWA.

2.3.9 Aiding in the development of appropriate legislation at national and international levels.

2.3.10 Assisting developing countries in solving mine water problems by sponsoring the visits of experts, organizing special courses, and by other means.

2.3.11 Honouring and recognizing eminent scientists, engineers, and organizations in the field of mine water problems.

2.3.12 Forming Working Groups to examine various aspects of mine water related problems.


3.1 Membership of IMWA is obtained by

3.1.1 sending a membership form to the IMWA Secretariat and paying at least one year’s dues.

3.1.2 being appointed as an Honorary Member

3.2 Membership in IMWA is in one of the following Classes:

Voting Members


A Individual members – individual persons professionally engaged in mine water technology and science, but not being an employer in this field.

B Corporate members – mining companies, consulting firms, research institutes, universities, industrial companies, and other organizations which are wholly or partly involved in mine water technology and science. Individuals included in Corporate memberships have the same rights and privileges of Individual members.

C Emeritus members – members who have been admitted to emeritus status by majority vote of the General Assembly, and all past Presidents of IMWA.

D Student members – Students substantially engaged in pursuit of an academic qualification, confirmed by a supporting letter from their university or academic institution.

Non-voting Members


E Honorary members – An individual who has rendered or is rendering outstanding services in the field of the IMWA activities. All Honorary memberships will be approved by the General Assembly.

3.3 Membership in IMWA is not to be used for political or commercial purposes. This does not preclude, however, the limited use of IMWA’s membership list for mailings by paid-up corporate members.

3.4 The total number of Honorary Members will not exceed 2% of the total number of voting members.

3.5 If a member of IMWA has not paid the annual membership by end of June in any given year, then this person’s membership and associated privileges should be suspended. All privileges should be reinstated on payment of dues. The General Secretary will notify all such deactivated members after their deactivation.

3.6 If a member does not pay the annual membership for two (2) consecutive years, the EC is entitled to cancel this person’s membership.

3.7 A member who tarnishes the reputation of IMWA or wilfully acts against its aims or interests may be expelled after discussions and deliberations if two thirds of the EC votes for expulsion. Any expulsion requires confirmation by the General Assembly by two-thirds majority of the votes cast at a properly gazetted meeting.


4.1 The General Assembly is the supreme body of IMWA and determines its policies.

4.2 The General Assembly will be composed of:

a. Voting Members (Section 3.1). Every member in Class A, C and D (Section 3.1) and each individual included in Class B has one vote.

b. Non-Voting Members in Class E (Section 3.1) who are entitled to attend as observers.

4.3 At least 10% of the voting members, including the proxies and electronic votes, must be present at each meeting of the General Assembly to constitute a quorum. In the event of the required number of members not being present at the published starting time of the meeting, any matters subject to voting will be held over for 15 minutes and the number of members then present will constitute a quorum. If the President, the Vice Presidents, Treasurer, General Secretary and an additional member, if their number is even, vote for an electronic ballot instead of a vote at General Assembly, any matters subject to voting will be put to a subsequent electronic ballot.

4.4 When a Voting Member is not able to attend the General Assembly, this Voting Member has the right to authorize another delegate to the General Assembly to act as a proxy by addressing a letter to this end to the Secretary General. The delegate authorized in this manner acquires the Voting Member’s voting rights at the General Assembly. One member can only hold one proxy.

4.5 The General Assembly has the right to resolve all questions concerning IMWA.

4.6 A simple majority of the Voting Members in attendance (subject to Section 4.3) is required to resolve all questions, issues, and legislation, with the exception of changes to the By-Laws. Changes to the By-Laws require a two-thirds majority of the Voting Members in attendance.

4.7 The President of IMWA, or a Vice-President, will be the Chairman of the General Assembly. The Chairman of the General Assembly is entitled to cast one vote whenever it is needed to resolve a question in the case of a deadlock.

4.8 A General Assembly is to be convened at the time of International Congresses, but not less than once every four (4) years. Extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly may also be called at the request of not less than one-third of the Voting Members. These must be convened within one year of the request. The date and place of the General Assembly are determined by the Executive Council.

4.9 The functions of the General Assembly will be:

a. To elect a President, one or two Vice-Presidents, a Secretary General, a Treasurer and other members of the Executive Council (EC) from the election at a General Assembly until the election at the next General Assembly subject to the following conditions.

i. Existing Officers may be elected to serve additional terms.

ii. The composition of the EC must include at least one fifth new members after each election.

iii. Each member of the EC must be a Voting Member (defined in Section 3.1) of IMWA and have been for not less than one year.

iv. No one country will have more than three (3) elected members on the EC (including the immediate Past President).

v. When there are more nominees than positions on the EC, those receiving the greatest number of votes are elected.

b. To appoint any Working Group it may deem necessary to carry out the work of IMWA and to dissolve any such Working Group previously appointed whose work is completed or no longer considered necessary.

c. To consider any application for membership which may have been referred to it by the EC.

d. To confirm or over-turn the decision of the EC to expel a member (Section 3.6), requiring a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.

e. To determine the general policies of IMWA.

f. To approve the unit subscription rate for membership (Section 9.4).

g. To receive the report of the Treasurer and approve the proposed budgets.

h. To approve any changes to the By-Laws or addition of Amendments.

i. To perform other such functions as may be conferred upon it.


5.1 The Executive Council (EC) manages the affairs of IMWA between the sessions of the General Assembly. It consists of the following:

A. Elected Members:

i. President

ii. One or two Vice-Presidents

iii. Secretary General

iv. Treasurer

v. Eight (8) members

B. Ex-Officio Members:

vi. Editor-in-Chief

vii. Honorary Presidents

5.2 The specific responsibilities of the Officers are:

5.2.1. President – officially represents IMWA both internally and externally. Presides over all General Assemblies and EC meetings, and opens and closes all Congresses, Conferences, and Symposia. Any contracts involving IMWA must be signed by the President and the Secretary General.

5.2.2. Vice Presidents – one or the other acts on behalf of the President when the President is unable to fulfil one or more of the President’s duties. The vice president chairs and is a member of one or more of the Working Groups (Section 6.1).

5.2.3. Secretary General – organises and administers the work of the General Assembly and the EC including:

a. keeping minutes of the General Assembly and all EC meetings, including the results of any issues voted upon,

b. preparing annual reports on the work of IMWA including the activities of the EC and any Working Groups and submitting such to the General Assembly, and

c. preparing a slate of Officers and EC members for voting at the General Assembly.

The Secretary General will also (either personally or with the support of an Administrative Assistant approved by the EC under Section 5.11):

d. manage the routine business of IMWA including conducting general correspondence,

e. maintain the IMWA webpages, and

f. perform any other functions as entrusted to the General Secretary by the EC.

5.2.4. Editor-in-Chief – selects Associate Editors, establishes an International Editorial Board, selects reviewers for papers, and oversees publication of the IMWA journal.

5.2.5. Treasurer – manages the financial affairs of IMWA and is accountable to the EC. Prepares an annual financial report corresponding to the previous calendar year and a budget for the next three (3) years (including an explanation of any changes to previously submitted 3-year budgets) and submits such to the EC at least 10 days before each EC meeting. Discussion of this report will be a major agenda at the EC meetings. A financial report corresponding to the previous calendar year will also be prepared and submitted to the General Assembly. A summary financial report will also be made available to members via the IMWA website by April 1st for the preceding calendar year. Other specific responsibilities of the Treasurer include:

a. Maintaining the bank accounts of IMWA.

b. Together with the Secretary General, sending out dues statement no later than 1 December of each year for the following year.

c. Paying for Professional Services as approved by the EC (Section 5.11).

5.3 The EC is empowered to co-opt special additional members if desired or necessary.

5.4 The EC will meet:

a. by teleconference at least twice each year, the exact times to be designated by the President on advice from the EC, no less than 30 days in advance, and

b. once each year in person as part of a Congress, Conference, or Symposia, the exact time and place to be designated by the Conference Organising Committee.

5.5 The meetings will be chaired by the President or by a Vice-President.

5.6 Other teleconference calls or electronic ballots to discuss or vote on specific issues may be organised by the Secretary General if requested by the President, Secretary General, or by one-third of the EC.

5.7 The Secretary General is to report on the activities of the EC at each General Assembly and to prepare an annual report (to be distributed electronically) to all Voting Members.

5.8 Any member of the EC who cannot attend a meeting of the EC or participate in a teleconference call may designate another member of the EC as a proxy by a written statement to the Secretary General. The designated proxy may carry only one proxy.

5.9 Decisions of the EC are valid providing its meetings or teleconference calls are attended (or votes cast electronically in the case of electronic ballots) by not less than one-half of the EC members, including proxies. Decisions are by simple majority and in case of a deadlock, the Chairman of the meeting/call will have the deciding vote.

5.10 If the President is absent or unable to fulfil the duties of the office, the EC can select one of the Vice-Presidents as a replacement. When one of the other officers of the EC tenders to resign or is not in a position to fulfill the disginated functions, the EC can appoint one of the other members to carry out this officer’s obligations until the next session of the General Assembly.

5.11 A “Working EC”, comprised of the President, Secretary General, Treasurer, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal, will conduct the day-to-day work of IMWA. The Working EC will report their activities to the full EC no less than quarterly.

5.12 The EC may appoint persons to perform, and establish remuneration for, Professional Services for IMWA including members of the nominal Working EC. This may also include the services of an Administrative Assistant who is not necessarily a member of IMWA.

5.13 A list of the current Officers and EC members will be maintained on the IMWA webpage.


6.1 The EC or General Assembly may set up Working Groups comprised of EC members and other IMWA Voting Members and with a designated Chairman to address specific issues. Specific Working Groups, with at least two other EC members in addition to the Chair are to include, but not be limited to:

Working Group Chair Responsibilities
Financial Treasurer 1) monitor and evaluate the financial conditions of IMWA 2) periodically review the remuneration for Professional Services 3) develop and recommend budgets (to be presented to the entire EC and General Assembly) 4) evaluate proposals for major expenditures
Membership Secretary General 1) periodically review membership benefits (including those for Corporate members) 2) review membership fees, and, together with Financial Working Group, recommend periodic increases as required
Professional Liaison President 1) encourage, establish, and maintain communications with other international professional organisations 2) determine benefits offered by other organisations (i.e. what do IMWA members get for their dues relative to members of other organisations of similar size and with similar dues)
Risk Vice President 1) identify what legal and financial risks IMWA, its Officers, and EC member have 2) determine what can be done to minimize/mitigate these risks
Publicity Councillor 1) maintain and constantly improve the webpage 2) evaluate what publicity Corporate Members are receiving
Conferences General Secretary 1) plan Congresses/Conferences/Symposia
Cooperation Vice President 1) Liaise with a global alliance for strengthening mine water issues 2) Predominantly groups not represented in a global alliance will be engaged in the Cooperation 3) General Secretary and President will be involved

6.2 All Working Groups are to report on the progress of their activities to the EC at each meeting (including those held by teleconference) and to all Voting Members annually and to the General Assembly in the years of a Congress.

6.3 The Working Groups, once constituted, may co-opt additional members, including individuals who are not IMWA members. The Chairman of any Working Group may also invite other persons to their meetings or teleconference calls, but only in an advisory capacity.

6.4 The Secretary General will be kept informed of all activities, progress, and findings of a Working Group.

6.5 Any expenses of a Working Group must be submitted to the Treasurer and approved by the working EC prior to the expenses being incurred.


7.1 IMWA Congresses will normally be held at three (3) year intervals. The host country and the time should be determined by the EC with approval of the General Assembly.

7.2 Symposia or Conferences, including co-sponsored meetings, will normally be held annually, in years between the Congresses. The host countries and the times will be determined by the EC.

7.3 At least two (2) years before an IMWA Congress, Conference or Symposium, the host country shall coordinate with the EC such matters as the composition of the Organising Committee and the exact place and date of the Meeting. The Chairman of the Organising Committee should be a resident of the host country, while representatives of other countries may also take part in the Organising Committee.

7.4 The duties of the Organising Committee of an International Congress, Conference, or symposia will be to:

a. Arrange for appropriate venues,

b. Establish the conference fees,

c. Organise and conduct the technical sessions,

d. Organise and conduct associated activities (e.g., pre-conference short courses, mid-conference tours, end-of-conference tours)

e. Organise and conduct appropriate social functions, and

f. Publish the conference proceedings.

7.5 The Organising Committee assumes full financial responsibility for all costs of the Congress, Conference, or symposia (other than any clearly defined and prior agreement to share costs by IMWA in the case of a co-sponsored meeting).

7.6 National or regional conferences or symposia may be approved for sponsorship or co-sponsorship by IMWA by the EC with confirmation by a simple majority of the EC. The terms of any financial responsibilities, liabilities, or risks of IMWA must be clearly defined.


8.1 The official language of IMWA is English.

8.2 During International Congresses, Conferences, and Symposia, the use of other languages is allowed, but the Organising Committee shall supply simultaneous translation to English.


9.1 The official currency of IMWA is the Euro (€). IMWA will retain the option to maintain bank accounts in other currencies as deemed appropriate by the Treasurer and agreed by the EC.

9.2 The financial resources of IMWA are derived from:

a. Annual subscriptions from the members of IMWA.

b. Sale of publications.

c. Gifts, grants, and subsidies. IMWA will maintain an Honour Roll in which the names of persons or institutions that have donated gifts, legacies, or other contributions will be entered.

9.3 The EC is responsible for administering the finances of IMWA based on the financial records maintained by and reported upon by the Treasurer and the budget proposed by the Treasurer (Section 5.2.5).

9.4 As authorised in Section 5.11, any operative staff, including members of the EC, appointed by the EC may receive payment for Professional Services and reasonable expenses from IMWA.

9.5 The annual membership rates (in terms of subscription units) are as follows:

Class   Subscription Units
A (Individual)   Two (2)
B (Corporate) 1 to 4 persons Ten (10) (the “Base Fee”)
  > 5 persons Ten (10) (“Base Fee”) + Two (2) with 10% discount for each individual member
C (Emeritus)   None
D (Students)   One (1)
E (Honorary)   None

9.6 The General Assembly, on the advice of the EC will determine the value of the Subscription Unit. Members will be notified of any change in the value of the Subscription Unit at least three (3) months in advance of it taking effect.

9.7 Members paying for 3 successive years in advance will get a 5% discount from the current rate, and members paying for 5 successive years in advance will get a 10% discount from the current rate.

9.8 The benefits of membership in IMWA will include:

a. Receipt of the official scientific and engineering journal of IMWA, which will be published at least twice each year. The number of copies received by each category of membership will be:

Class Copies
A 1
B 1 per individual within the corporate membership
C 1
D 1
E 1

b. Ability to purchase other IMWA publications at special reduced rates.

c. Exclusive book offers, or access to protected areas (e.g. free trial access to journal content) on the Journal Publisher’s web pages.

d. Ability to attend all IMWA-sponsored Congresses, Conferences, and symposia at a reduced registration fee.

e. Ability to vote and speak at all IMWA-sponsored Congresses, Conferences, and symposia.

f. Receipt of a list of IMWA members with their addresses and with indication of class and membership and general field(s) of interest. This list is to be used with the constraints stated in Section 3.2

g. Receipt of circulars notifying members of all IMWA meetings and principal activities.

h. For Corporate members:

i. Display of the corporate logo (and linked to the member’s webpage) on the IMWA webpage and inside the back cover of the journal

ii. Listing of employment opportunities in the journal and on the website

9.9 In exceptional circumstances, the EC may permit members in Class A coming from countries with un-exchangeable currency to make other arrangements for payment of dues. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

9.10 The financial year will be the calendar year.

9.11 Expenses for specifically holding the General Assembly at any Congress may be borne by IMWA.

9.12 The EC may render, at its discretion, financial assistance to organiziat ng committees of international congresses, symposia, and other conferences which it sponsors or co-sponsors.

9.13 IMWA is not responsible for any debts and expenses incurred by a member unless previously authorised by the EC.


10.1 If any major decision requiring voting by the Voting Members is required between meetings of the General Assembly, a postal or electronic ballot may be utilised and a decision taken on a simple majority of votes cast, provided that at least 50% plus one of the Voting Members have voted. The Secretary General will be responsible for conducting any such postal or electronic ballots. Such a decision will be considered as if it had been reached by the General Assembly. The deadline for casting a vote will be three (3) months after sending the ballot.

10.2 The General Assembly may, subject to the general provisions of the By-Laws, adopt any Amendments it deems necessary to achieve the aims and govern the activity of IMWA. Such an Amendment will be established or amended by a 2/3 majority of votes cast by the General Assembly by direct, electronic, or postal ballot.

10.3 The procedure for dissolution of IMWA is the same as for amending the By-Laws (Section 10.2).

10.4 The EC will determine the manner of disposing of any properties of IMWA upon its dissolution.

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 July 2017 16:49  

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IMWA and the China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) in Xuzhou/China signed a Memorandum of Understanding about future co-operation. In addition, CUMT explained that they are interested in hosting the IMWA 2014 Congress.