In 2021, WSAA commissioned Eric Vanweydeveld to review remote water services in Australia to elevate these issues in the national conversation, and to recommend ways to close the gap in the delivery of safe drinking water including water quality and water security.
This Preliminary Report documents the arrangements for water servicing of remote communities across Australia. It outlines some preliminary findings and recommendations about how improving water can help close the gap – and where we can start.
Many stakeholders across Australia are leading many important initiatives in “Closing the Gap’ for First Nations peoples, addressing health, social, economic and other aspects. Yet amid this work, examples regularly emerge about remote communities with limited and sometimes no access to safe drinking water, poor health outcomes associated with lack of clean and reliable water supplies, and unclear accountabilities for providing water services.
Most important of all: a voice. A voice in the water services that remote First Nations peoples receive.
The full report will be released in November 2022. WSAA continues to work with governments and the urban water industry, on how to progress these initiatives and embed them in a new National Water Initiative. Also included below is the Community Engagement Paper by Jimmy Cocking referenced in the Preliminary Report.