El apoyo de la Comisión Europea para la elaboración de esta publicación no implica la aceptación de sus contenidos, que es responsabilidad exclusiva de los autores. Por tanto, la Comisión no es responsable del uso que pueda hacerse de la información aquí difundida.

lunes, 25 de enero de 2021


Certainly, any Freshwater themes in Leipzig revolve around the canals and the surrounding lakes. The

Leipzig hinterlands is thus named Neuseeland (New Lake Land) because of the vast number of new 

lakes. These lakes, as the students already learned from their fieldwork day, were originally open cast 

coal mines for the brown coal which is abundance in central Germany. Although many mines are out of 

commission and are now very popular leisure and recreation sites, one Opencast coal mine is still in

 operation and provides tours. The reason for this particular visit to the Schleenhain Opencast Mine was

again to support the Erasmus+ Project, Freshwater Shortage! Warning!. The focus of this visit was how

the site manages its water resources and steps they take to prevent pollution and contaminants

from entering the local rivers or groundwater (see Tagebau vereignites Schleenhain brochure). This is 

especially important as Leipzig is downstream from this coal mine. Students took public transportation 

from Leipzig to reach the coal mine and were met by a bus which ferried us to their conference

room. There the students learned about the methods and legal responsibilities to ensure water

quality on site, with their presentation titled ‘The water management of the MIBRAG in the

context of the total water balance in the south of Leipzig.”

After the presentation, students needed to board the bus, where hard helmets were waiting. We were

given an extensive tour of the mining operation, and some close-up views of the giant equipment used

to break up and convey the substrate, so that the coal is reached.

Our guide explains how any ground water must be diverted and stored separately, before being

processed and released into the local river system.  Lastly, we were brought to the water works where 

all it is processed. Heavy metals and other toxins are settled out of the water through filters and mag

nets. This portion of the tour was very interesting and 

tied into the project by emphasizing the importance of water quality and energy requirements of

populations. Though the mine will eventually be phased out, the tour was very educational for both

students and staff.

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