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The Northern Territory Government has released the NT Strategic Water Plan Directions Paper, to ensure water is used efficiently and sustainably into the future – with Territorians and stakeholders welcomed to provide input and ideas for the future plan. 

In the paper, ten directions for water are proposed to provide water security in the Territory, with each direction explained, alongside accompanying possible pathways to improve water security in that topic area. 

Feedback is invited on each direction; which pathways are best, which may not work and what is missing.

The feedback from the Directions Paper will then inform drafting of the Northern Territory’s first Strategic Water Plan which will set the water security agenda to 2050 across all aspects of water.

The Directions Paper covers all aspects of water in the Territory, including:

  • Water governance, management and value
  • Water quality and supply
  • Research
  • Maintaining water security for the community, environment and the NT’s unique recreational and cultural values

Northern Territory Minister for Environment and Water Security, Eva Lawler, said, “Public resources must maximise the public good – optimise social, cultural, environmental and economic outcomes.

“The Territory is Australia’s comeback capital and the availability of sustainably sourced and well managed water will be a key driver of jobs and economic growth and to foster vibrant, prosperous regions and communities.

“At its core, the final Northern Territory Strategic Water Plan must be informed and supported by the community it will serve both now and into the future.”

The ideas proposed in the Directions Paper are based on immediate priorities as well as consideration of long-term policy and program reform, options for water infrastructure and a commitment to healthy ecosystems and economic development.

Water security is about ensuring that the Territory’s water is effectively managed and that its supply and use is reliable, resilient, efficient and environmentally sustainable.

The Northern Territory government said it understands how integral water is to the community and how much it is valued across all regions and sectors, hence why they are taking the time to consult with key stakeholders and the community, before the final plan is released in 2022.

CEO of Power and Water, Djuna Pollard, said, “Power and Water welcomes the release of this Directions Paper and encourages all Territorians to take an active role in improving our water security by commenting on the proposals and ideas for the future that are contained in this document.

“We recognise the importance we have in safeguarding water security in the Northern Territory and are continually planning for the future across each of the 92 locations we provide customers with water.”

The Office of Water Security will also be meeting with key stakeholders and attending forums and community events.

“This Directions Paper and the NT Strategic Water Plan to follow, are critically important in determining a sustainable future for our water industry and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government on its development,” Ms Pollard said. 

Territorians can provide input and feedback, and will be able to download the Directions Paper from haveyoursay.nt.gov.au

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