Dr. John Waters

BSc (Hons), PhD

Principal Environmental Chemist


Dr Waters has more than 25 years’ professional experience as an environmental and earth scientist. He has specialist expertise in acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) management (mining and acid sulfate soils), mineral waste and tailings management, ground and surface water chemistry, water treatment and environmental geochemistry. He also provides expertise in geochemical modelling for the assessment of water quality and other environmental issues.

Education and Affiliations

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Earth Sciences), Monash University, Australia
  • Bachelor of Science Honours (Earth Sciences), Monash University, Australia

Countries of Work Experience

Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, China, New Zealand, Chile, Peru

Professional History

  • 2002 to present: Principal Environmental Chemist, Earth Systems
  • 2001: Research Associate, Centre for Green Chemistry, Monash University
  • 1999–2001: Geoscience consultant
  • 1996–1999: Research Scientist, CSIRO Exploration and Mining
  • 1993: Geologist, BHP Minerals, Melbourne, Australia
  • 1987–1995: Doctoral research, Monash University
  • 1986: Exploration Geologist, PNC Exploration, Western Australia
  • 1985: Mine Geologist, Kia Ora Gold Pty Ltd, Western Australia

Fields of Special Competence

Environmental geoscience and geochemistry; water quality prediction / management; AMD/ASS assessment and management; environmental metal speciation and transport; analytical chemistry; geochemical modelling (PHREEQC); mine waste rock / tailings assessment and management; mine rehabilitation, environmental monitoring; data management.

Representative Experience

Dr. Waters’ recent roles and projects include:

  • Management of design and manufacture of specialist water treatment equipment for addressing AMD and other water quality issues at sites within Australia and overseas.
  • Production of site water balances and assessment of site water (surface & ground waters, leachates, process waters, storm water) quality for a range of mine and industrial sites.
  • Modelling downstream water quality to assist with treatment and discharge options to meet regulatory requirements at a mine site in Papua New Guinea.
  • Geochemical modelling (PHREEQC) of a range of water quality issues including AMD treatment, contaminant metal transport & deposition, and scaling issues in process plants.
  • Assessment and management of the AMD potential of waste rock and tailings facilities.
  • Assessment of and management options for sites impacted by acid sulfate soils.
  • Management of AMD treatment activities at operating and abandoned mine sites within Australia.
  • Computer-based modelling for contaminant generation, release and associated assessment of water quality impacts for the South Australian government.
  • Contributor to a report for Mineral Resources Tasmania (MRT) covering recommendations for the environmental remediation and rehabilitation of abandoned tin mines in NW Tasmania.
  • Design, programming and implementation of software tools to assist with the assessment of acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD); neutral metalliferous (saline) drainage (NMD).
  • Research Associate at the Centre for Green Chemistry, Monash University investigating the use of benign alternatives to cyanide in the gold processing industry.

Selected Publications

  • Waters, J, Pape, S, Taylor, J. Tools for assisting with the assessment of acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD). SMI 8th Australian AMD Workshop 2014.
  • Taylor, JR, Guthrie, B. Murphy, N, Waters, J. Alkalinity producing cover materials for providing sustained improvement in water quality from waste rock piles. 7th ICARD Conference, St. Louis, United States (2006).
  • Taylor, JR, Waters, JC. Treating ARD – how, when, where and why. Mining and Environmental Management 2003.

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Recent News

Report for The International Network for Acid Prevention

26 May 2020

Earth Systems in collaboration with Okane Consultants, released a report providing new insight into ensuring low polluting mine operations, and more successful mine closure outcomes.

The report reviews conventional mine rock stockpile construction methods, and summarises improved construction technologies that are available to help improve water quality from mine wastes. Continued efforts to implement these technologies will help quantify their environmental and economic benefits.


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VIC 3122,
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