Access to safe drinking water on homelands: the need for a social ecological approach

Paul Satur, Hannah Robertson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The maintenance of connections to traditional clan lands, or country, is synonymous with the continuation of Indigenous cultural practices across Australia. The most basic need for human inhabitation on these lands is access to safe and potable drinking water. Although access to safe drinking water is a basic human right, many remote Indigenous homeland and outstation communities, which are located on country, remain at risk to detrimental water related health impacts. Some states have reported fewer than 19% of homeland community water sources that meet microbial and chemical compliance standards. This is the result of a range of compounding institutional, infrastructural and biophysical factors which obfuscate water resource management approaches and servicing outcomes. Using a socio-ecological research approach, this paper discusses the historical policy settings, data collection, system and infrastructure conditions that have contributed to poor access to and availability of safe drinking water on homelands. We discuss the implications of these outcomes for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving universal access to safe drinking water by 2030.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAITSIS National Indigenous Research Conference 2019: Reserach For the 21st Century - Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 1 Jul 20193 Jul 2019


ConferenceAITSIS National Indigenous Research Conference 2019
Internet address


  • Safe Water Access
  • Homelands
  • Socio-ecology

Cite this