Water Matters - Issue 20
Tiwi Islands first fluoridated water supply for Indigenous community
The community of Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu) on Bathurst Island, Tiwi Islands, now has a secure water supply thanks to a new water infrastructure project as part of the Australian Government's funding commitment from the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns.
The Wurrumiyanga water production and storage project is the first Indigenous community project to be completed in the Northern Territory and Wurrumiyanga is the first Indigenous community to receive a fluoridated water supply.
The number of bores producing drinking water has been increased, more than 3.5 kilometres of higher capacity water mains constructed and a new 1.8 megalitre storage tank has been installed.
The 1.8 megalitre water storage tank which was officially opened recently on Bathurst Island as part of the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative.
General Manager, Remote Operations with Power and Water Corporation, Darryl Day said improved water security for Wurrumiyanga will ensure residents have sufficient water to meet current and future demand.
"The larger tank will increase water storage from the borefield and water pressure into the community," he said.
"It will make a big difference to their capacity to water public amenities, particularly the AFL oval which is central to the community."
The completion of the Wurrumiyanga project has significant benefits for the community including:
- improving the quality of life and the wellbeing of the Tiwi people, including consistent water supply and pressure to the Tiwi Dialysis Unit and the Wurrumiyanga Well Being Centre
- water supply capacity for 90 new houses constructed under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing
- the first Indigenous community in the NT to have a fluoridated water supply, and
- improved irrigation of the local football oval.
At the official opening of the Wurrumiyanga project 24 July 2012 (L-R) Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon MP, Mayor Lynette De Santis, Power and Water Corporation GM Remote Operations, Darryl Day, local member, Marion Scrymgour and Dean Rioli.
The consistent, year-round water supply provided through this project means the local football oval's irrigation system can be repaired and upgraded.
It will improve the playing surface for local football matches and has flow-on effects for recreation, health and social amenity.
The Australian Government provided $2.7 million in funding for the Wurrumiyanga project. The NT will receive a total of $20.25 million in Australian Government funding to undertake eight projects in five communities.
To support the COAG Strategy on Water and Wastewater Services in Remote (including Indigenous) Communities, the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns has provided funding of $51.7 million for 18 projects in 17 communities across Australia.
The Strategy aims to:
- provide sustainable, secure and safe water supplies and wastewater services
- provide a level of service that meets the regulatory standards, and
- encourage responsible use of water and, where appropriate, water conservation.
Note: Tiwi Islands consists of Bathurst Island and Melville Island.
For more information visit the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program webpage.
Murray-Darling Basin Plan update
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority provided the altered Proposed Basin Plan to Basin state and territory ministers on 6 August for consideration before the Plan is finalised and provided to Parliament later this year.
The new document is available on the Authority's website along with additional supporting material. You can also find information on the website outlining the next steps in finalising the Basin Plan.