Preserving our Water for Now and into the Future – Water Direction Paper Released


Water underpins our way of life and environment – it is crucial for all aspects of our social, cultural and economic life.

The Territory is Australia’s comeback capital and we need to properly plan for the future so that water is used efficiently and sustainably to grow the economy, to secure permanent local jobs and protect the environment.

Today the Territory Labor Government has released the NT Strategic Water Plan Directions Paper, with Territorians and stakeholders given the opportunity to provide their input and ideas for our future water security.

Science and sustainability must guide all decisions regarding water.

In the paper, 10 directions for water are proposed to provide water security in the Territory. Each direction is explained in the paper, with accompanying possible pathways to improve water security in that topic area. Feedback is invited on each direction and which pathways are best, which may not work and what is missing.

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

  • water governance, management and value;
  • water quality and supply;
  • research; and
  • maintaining water security for our communities, our environment and our unique recreational and cultural values.

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 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 our water is effectively managed and that its supply and use is reliable, resilient, efficient and environmentally sustainable.

We understand how integral water is to our community and how much it is valued across all regions and sectors. That is why we are taking the time to consult with key stakeholders and the community before the final plan is released in 2022.

Territorians will be able to download the Directions Paper from to provide their input and feedback. The Office of Water Security will also be meeting with key stakeholders and attending forums and community events.

Quotes from the Minister for Environment and Water Security, Eva Lawler:

“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.”

Quotes from the CEO of Power and Water, Djuna Pollard:

“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.

“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.”

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