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Cultural values, needs and solutions for remote indigenous community water supplies

Yuen, E., Ho, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812 and Day, D. (2002) Cultural values, needs and solutions for remote indigenous community water supplies. In: 3rd World Water Congress of the International Water Association, 7 - 12 April, Melbourne, Australia

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Abstract

Many remote Indigenous communities are associated with limited or marginal water supplies. The challenge for remote Indigenous communities is to provide adequate supplies of potable and non-potable water to achieve health outcomes and meet cultural needs while minimising the economic, social and environmental costs. Indigenous values of water extend beyond the western medical paradigm while different lifestyles result in different needs. Poverty, cultural attitudes and the remote living environment result in different attitudes to palatability, levels of overcrowding, mobility, health problems, uses of water, and access to services. Normative needs for adequate quantity and safe quality need also be considered. While production and demand are generally high, seemingly more than adequate for health, losses are also high. Paradoxically, these high losses result in low consumption, in particular for health related uses. Water supplies need to sustainably provide adequate and safe supplies but must also be compatible with Indigenous needs and values. Holistic planning and community consultation will enable appropriate technologies to be developed which aim at reducing demand, managing fluctuations in demand and promoting use to achieve health outcomes.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Environmental Technology Centre
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24390
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