Field Guide to the Community Water Planner

The Community Water Planner Field Guide is a package to assist water managers, service providers and Indigenous organisations working with remote communities to plan and implement water management programs for settlements with small water supplies.

The Community Water Planner was released in March 2006. This tool is specifically aimed at small community water supplies and is also available from the NHMRC website. The National Water Commission created the project to develop opportunities for collaborative work surrounding provision of potable water supply to remote Indigenous communities. Water Research Australia (WaterRA) and research member, the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) led the project to create the Field Guide to the Community Water Planner. The field guide was tested during field trials and reviewed by Australian water industry experts. Other WQRA members involved in the development of the product were:

The package is generic and can be adapted to suit almost any type of water supply. The principles within the field guide are consistent with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and apply the risk management approach to water supplies outlined in the Framework for the Management of Drinking Water Quality.

 Made up of a series of full-colour posters with a supporting manual, hard copies of the package are available from CAT in Alice Springs and state/territory health departments. For further information about the package, or to order a copy of the guide contact or

The Centre for Appropriate Technology

The Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) is an Indigenous science and technology organisation that works to secure sustainable livelihoods for communities of Indigenous people through appropriate technology . CAT provides information, knowledge and practical services across a range of areas including energy, housing and infrastructure, water, waste, telecommunications, transport and technical skills development. CAT utilises evidence-based and applied problem-solving approaches to assist communities of Indigenous people to access the information, services and skills required to live safe and happy lives.

 CAT works with Indigenous communities and a range of government and non-government organisations, such as councils and resource agencies, to develop effective approaches that ensure basic water supplies function properly and meet the needs and aspirations of the residents. CAT is able to provide assistance for people who use the field guide in remote communities with technical advice and guidance for facilitator's in participatory processes.

 A one-day hands-on workshop is available for facilitators to learn how to use the field guide. The workshop is presented by a water specialist and an Indigenous trainer from CAT. The workshops provide non-accredited training and there are no pre-requisites for participants. Any number of participants can attend and there is a set fee. Please contact CAT for more information on 08 8959 6100 or

Community Water Planner



Step 1 – Discover the Water Supply

Step 2 – Identify Hazards and Management Activities for the Water Supply

Step 3- Manage Assets

Step 4 – Identify Roles and Responsibilities

Annual review