The State Government’s draft Water Security Statement provides an overview of water security status for key population centres and water resources across South Australia, and includes ten strategic priorities for water security to July 2024.
In response to the draft Statement, SACOSS recommends that:
- The definition of water security should explicitly consider social equity imperatives, balancing environmental, economic, social, human health and cultural outcomes.
- The draft water Security Statement acknowledge the negative health outcomes inherent in not providing citizens with access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water.
- The planned water security audit and risk assessment for self-supplied remote communities is expanded to include those serviced by SA Water under the remote communities’ scheme. Further, the audit should incorporate a socio-ecological framework and not be limited by a “supply and demand” approach.
- Objective water security standards or a ‘basic level of service’ are prioritised.
- Water security strategies also need to be developed urgently in regional and remote communities where there is not an immediate economic imperative, using a tailored, community-led approach.