The September issue of Stormwater contains one of the best articles about surface water I have read in quite a while. It is Stormwater Detention: Ten Proven Ways to Cheat by Glenn E. Brooks. Some other time I will write about the paper, but for the moment, I refer you, as he does in his paper, to this site: Software for Civil Engineers. At this site you will find free software to undertake channel flow calculations, design pond and water collection facilities, deal with the Chezy-Manning equation for channels of varying depth, and much more.

Meanwhile you may also choose to look at the criticism directed at the draft International Finance Corporation's (ICF) Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Mining.

The main thrust of Brooks' article is that you can get a very different answer about surface water impacts, depending on how you do the calculations. Not really cheating--just selectively electing to use or not to use specific equations, computer codes, coefficients, and presentation formats.

Brooks does not consider surface water in mining, but what he writes is totally relevant to mining and the ICF requirements: in the absence of specificity, you can get any answer you want.

A second great weekend read that emphasizes the need for comprehensive modeling of groundwater at mines Contaminant Load Estimates for the Historic Mount Morgan Mine Site by Christoph Wels, Laura Findlater, and Chris McCombe. The quality of the work done by these authors always impresses me.