With the compelling vision of “Sustainable and productive land and waterscapes enabling indigenous economic participation and development”, the Economic Participation of Indigenous Communities – EPIC CRC – bid is timely and much needed. Over the next 10 years this Indigenous-led CRC aims to develop an internationally competitive, dynamic and growing First Food Agribusiness and Fisheries sector built on, and recognised for, Indigenous principles of sustainability and ecosystem thinking. But it cannot do this alone.

Access to quality water and land are fundamental to these aspirations, as well as the development of new knowledge and approaches that enable Indigenous principles of sustainability and ecosystem thinking to guide the plans and policies by which land and water are managed in Australia and the Torres Strait Islands.

As the water industry grapples with a rapidly changing climate and our role in Reconciliation, there is much we can learn and do by listening to and being guided by the wisdom, knowledge and practices of the traditional owners of this Country.  Research undertaken through the EPIC CRC could enable a parallel way of approaching these challenges thereby delivering ‘best of both worlds’ knowledge and outcomes for us all – the Country, its custodians, and our customers and communities.

During November, WaterRA held a webinar to discuss how together we can build this through collaborative research.  Below are some preliminary ideas:

  • Development of tools to better apply ANZECC Guidelines for protecting the Cultural and Spiritual Values of Water especially as this relates to our wastewater discharges to inland and coastal waters and environmental flows;
  • Identification of optimal land/water management practices for climate resilience;
  • Better understanding of the ‘acceptability’ of different water sources for use by indigenous agribusinesses so that business development can be appropriately supported;
  • Funding for development of baseline of Indigenous knowledge about water and demonstration of inextricable link between health of water and health of people and country; and,
  • Exploration of business models for collaboration between water utilities and indigenous businesses such as for generation of blue or green carbon credits.

Please view our webinar to:

  • Meet and hear from the EPIC CRC bid’s academic team led by Professor Ross Thompson, and including Acting CEO Phil Duncan and Research Co-Director A/Professor Brad Moggridge; and,
  • Learn how you can get involved directly or via WaterRA.