SA Water will take on the management of local water services in four communities in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands by investing approximately $10 million over three years to upgrade existing infrastructure.

Adding Kanpi, Nyapari and Watinuma Aboriginal communities – and government facilities at Murputja – to SA Water’s existing service areas, will ensure supplies across the region are consistent and comply with relevant health and drinking water guidelines.

Currently, drinking water for these four communities is sourced from local groundwater supplies.

There is no central management of their water service and it doesn’t meet process requirements and health objectives of the Safe Drinking Water Act 2011.

SA Water Chief Executive, Roch Cheroux, said the corporation is looking forward to extending its relationships with communities in the region.

“Our Remote Communities team has been working closely with communities in the APY Lands for a long time to ensure the supply of safe and reliable water and sewerage services, and helping to overcome the challenges this brings in such a remote area.

“Water is not just essential for drinking and maintaining public health, but also vital for sustaining opportunities for growth and development of the communities it’s supplied to.

“This project will be community-driven, through the engagement and employment of local people in the planning, design and construction phases, as well as for ongoing management and maintenance of the infrastructure.”

Since 2005, SA Water has been involved in the management of water supplies and wastewater disposal systems in nine APY Lands communities – Indulkana, Mimili, Fregon, Umuwa, Ernabella (Pukatja), Kenmore Park, Amata, Pipalyatjara and Kalka.

Included in these operations are 53 bores (nine of which are solar-powered), four state-of-the-art desalination plants, and one wastewater treatment plant.

The wastewater treatment plant at Amata safely removes and treats water after it leaves people’s homes and will soon, where practical, be delivering high-quality recycled water for irrigation use on local school and sporting grounds.

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