NIVA and CGS are to embark on a pilot study to develop methodologies and techniques to determine ecological footprints and volumetric contributions for apportioning liability for sustainable management of pollution and water ingress into underground gold mine openings of the Witwatersrand Central Basin, South Africa.Water is ingressing into the underground mine voids in the Central Rand Basin of the Witwatersrand, necessitating dewatering of operational areas through pumping. Such pumping also ensures avoidance of sterilization of remaining gold reserves.The CGS has been tasked by the South African Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) to identify sustainable management options to, amongst other objectives, apportion liability of costs to polluters and/or contributors to ingress and water contamination.Furthermore, regional mine closure strategies are being developed to ensure that there is a financial provision for sustainable environmental management, once mining operations cease. Based upon t he polluter pays principle adopted by the DME, apportioning of such financial liability in the industrial area of the Central Rand Basin and environs is critical to implement such mine closure strategies. A scientific basis for such apportionment is plan ned in this pilot project. This groundbreaking approach has not been attempted anywhere else in the world, and would serve as a pilot approach for other areas similarly impacted by mining operations in South Africa, and further afield in areas of Africa where an immature mining industry exists.Apportioning liability for environmental problems is a contentious issue with high potential for legal objections from identified impactors or contributors. The involvement of NIVA, an independent, impartial, non -partisan, and credible international water research institution would bring legitimacy to the research and apportionment process likely to reduce the risk of objections from affected parties.