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The Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT), a national Indigenous science and technology not-for-profit organisation, and the author of the popular 'bush tech' guides, is currently working to help communities develop and implement drinking water supply management plans.
In a recent news article on the subject, CAT described the progress that, in partnership with communities, it is making towards the development of drinking water plans:
'We are working to help communities develop and implement drinking water supply management plans using water planning tools developed by CAT with the support of the National Water Commission and Water Quality Research Australia.
(The purpose) of the work is to provide operators of small supplies with best practice information and management tools to keep a small water supply safe and working, and know what to do when something goes wrong.
The majority of remote Indigenous communities have a population of less than 50 people. Many of these communities have limited service provision compared with larger communities, with no formal resident manager of the supply, or no service provider at all. When something goes wrong, local people may not know how to respond correctly, and may have to wait some time before the remote service provider is able to come and assist.
Many of the causes of water supply emergencies are preventable, and they are often able to be addressed by local people. Having local people that know what to look out for, how to keep things going and what to do when something goes wrong is the most effective way of managing a water supply - the same process that even the largest utilities in Australia use to manage their supplies.
As part of its capacity to respond to requests for technical advice, CAT is helping communities develop and implement drinking water supply management plans. The process builds the capacity of community members to identify hazards to their water supplies, manage risks and respond appropriately when things go wrong.
Drinking water supply management plans have begun to be developed and implemented in communities in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.'
Source: Centre for Appropriate Technology