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Nadja Kunz is an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and Norman B Keevil Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia Vancouver campus. She obtained her PhD from the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) at The University of Queensland, Australia where she remains an Adjunct Fellow.  She also spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Eawag Aquatic Research Institute in Switzerland. Nadja has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Business Management (Dean’s Honour Roll), both from the University of Queensland.

Nadja is driven by a passion for transitioning the private sector towards more sustainable water management practices. Her current research focuses on the mining and extractives sector at two geographical scales of analysis: (1) within the mine lease, and (2) within mining regions. At the mine site level, Nadja develops novel engineering models to improve quantification of water risk, and investigates organizational constraints to implementing optimal system-level solutions. At the regional level, Nadja studies the evolving role of the mining sector in water stewardship and governance. She is especially interested in how mining can best contribute towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG6 which focuses on the provision of water and sanitation.

In addition to her academic credentials, Nadja maintains close links to practice. She currently consults as a Water Specialist for the International Finance Corporation where she has provided technical expertise to a Voluntary Code of Practice on Water Management for the South Gobi Region in Mongolia, as well as other projects globally. Nadja is also a member of the academic directorate for the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI). Previously, Nadja gained extensive operational experience in the mining, oil and gas sector within Australia, including at the Northparkes copper/gold mine, Yarwun Alumina Refinery and BP’s Bulwer Island refinery. She has also worked in corporate sustainability reporting for Rio Tinto and consulted for Anglo Gold Ashanti in South Africa.

In her spare time, Nadja is an avid outdoor enthusiast and particularly enjoys rock-climbing, mountaineering and skiing.

Journal publications:

Kunz, N.C., Kastelle, T., Moran C.J. (2017) Social network analysis reveals that communication gaps may prevent effective water management in the mining sector. The Journal of Cleaner Production, vol 148, p. 915-922.  Available at:

Kunz, N. C. (2016) Catchment-based water management in the mining industry: Challenges and solutions. The Extractive Industries and Society, vol 3, issue 4, p.972–977.  Available at:

Kunz, N.C., Fischer, M., Ingold, K., Hering, J. (2016) Drivers for and against municipal wastewater recycling: A review. Water Science and Technology, vol 73, issue 2, p.251-259Available at:

Kunz, N.C. and Moran C.J. (2016) The utility of a systems approach for managing strategic water risks at a mine site level. Water Resources and Industry, vol. 13, p.1-6.  Available at:

Kunz, N.C., Fischer, M., Ingold, K., Hering, J. (2015) Why do some water utilities recycle more than others?  A Qualitative Comparative Analysis in New South Wales, Australia.  Environmental Science and Technology.  Available at:

Moran, C.J., Lodhia, S., N.C. Kunz, and Huisingh, D. (2014) The sustainability agenda of the minerals and energy supply and demand network: an integrative analysis of ecological, ethical, economic, and technological dimensions: An Introduction. Journal of Cleaner Production, vol 84. Available at:  

Moran, C.J. and Kunz, N.C. (2014) Sustainability as it pertains to resources sector supply and demand for minerals and energy: A new interpretative perspective for assessing progress. Journal of Cleaner Production, vol 84. Available at:

N.C. Kunz and Moran C.J. (2014) Sharing the benefits from water as a new approach to regional water targets for mining companies, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol 84Available at:

Kunz, N. C., Moran, C. J., Kastelle, T. (2013) Conceptualising “coupling” for sustainability implementation in the industrial sector: A review of the field and projection of future research opportunities, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol 53.  Available at:

Kunz, N. C., Moran, C. J., Kastelle, T. (2013) Implementing an integrated approach to water management by matching problem complexity with management responses: a case study of a mine site water committee, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol 52.  Available at: