Talking Water - Kwatye Angkeme


Working together for a more secure water future for Alice Springs.

The Talk­ing Water Col­lec­tive acknowl­edges and thanks every­one who con­tributed to the cam­paign and the Com­mu­ni­ty Sub­mis­sion to the NT Strate­gic Water Plan.

View the Com­mu­ni­ty Submission…

Talking Water - Alice Springs Community Submission - NT Strategic Water Plan

The Desert Knowl­edge Research Insti­tute is assist­ing the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry Government’s Depart­ment of Envi­ron­ment, Parks and Water Secu­ri­ty to address and improve water secu­ri­ty in the NT, through a sub­mis­sion cov­er­ing Alice Springs. This will con­tribute to the NT’s Strate­gic Water Plan, which will set the agen­da on water man­age­ment through to 2050.

Talk­ing Water: Kwatye Angkeme is facil­i­tat­ed by the Desert Knowl­edge Research Insti­tute; work­ing with:

A suite of com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment activ­i­ties was held through Octo­ber and Novem­ber 2021, to sup­port a mul­ti-lev­el stake­hold­er response to 10 pro­posed direc­tions for water secu­ri­ty in the North­ern Territory.

View the NT’s Strate­gic Water Plan Direc­tions Paper.

More Info

The facts

    Source: Liv­ing Water Smart in Alice

    • We use more than twice as much water as the Aus­tralian average.

    • Our drink­ing water comes from under­ground sources = we are min­ing our water.

    • At present rates, our town water sup­ply will be uneco­nom­i­cal by ear­ly/mid-2200s. But cli­mate change and a rise in pop­u­la­tion means this could hap­pen much sooner.

    • We are exhaust­ing water resources that have exist­ed for hun­dreds of thou­sands of years.

    • Water mat­ters to you, your fam­i­ly, our future.

    • We can’t afford to squan­der our water future.

    • We can all be part of a safer water future!

    View the FACT SHEET.

    Talking Water Fact Sheet

    Some detailed facts

    • Pow­er and Water get our drink­ing water from the Amadeus Basin using bores (deep nar­row wells) at the Roe Creek Bore­field. This water is very old, esti­mat­ed to be from up to 35,000 years ago.

    • It is slow­ly replen­ished at 2 gigal­itres annu­al­ly, but we use over 9 gigal­itres a year.
    • The water-table has dropped 6 metres in the last 10 years.

    • Alice Springs also has the aquifers formed in the Todd Basin…
      - replen­ish­es after a big rain
      - too small to sup­port the pop­u­la­tion
      - used for sport­ing fields and golf club
      - must be man­aged care­ful­ly; if it drops too low, riv­er red gums and oth­er veg­e­ta­tion suf­fer or die

    • Our water-depen­dant envi­ron­ment has changed because of dif­fer­ences in land use, a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, and accel­er­at­ing cli­mate change…
      - water­holes and swamps have dis­ap­peared or been dam­aged
      - weed infes­ta­tions (buf­fel grass, couch, etc.)

    Past events

    Water & Peo­ple Workshop

    Tues­day 2 Novem­ber 2021; 4:45 pm — 6:30 pm
    Coun­cil Lawns

    Water & Econ­o­my Workshop

    Tues­day 9 Novem­ber 2021; 4:30 pm — 6:45 pm
    Cham­ber of Commerce

    Water & Envi­ron­ment Workshop

    Thurs­day 11 Novem­ber 2021; 4:30 pm — 6:30 pm
    East Side Com­mu­ni­ty Garden

    Com­mu­ni­ty Water Forum

    The major event that will bring it togeth­er and help gen­er­ate the Com­mu­ni­ty Sub­mis­sion to the NT Strate­gic Water Plan consultation.

    Thurs­day 25 Novem­ber 2021; 4:00 pm — 7:00 pm
    Andy McNeill Room, Alice Springs Town Council

    NTG Direc­tions Paper

    Make a sub­mis­sion to the to help craft the NT Strate­gic Water Plan that will guide the direc­tion and deci­sion-mak­ing around water until 2050.

    Fri­day 4 Feb­ru­ary 2022
    Make a submission

    Get informed

    Cul­tur­al Val­ues Asso­ci­at­ed with Alice Springs Water — Dick Kimber

    A great read that explains how Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple engage with water and the landscape.

    Liv­ing Water Smart in Alice

    Infor­ma­tion and ideas on how to save water and money.

    You can have your say

    1. What can I do to help create a secure water future?
    - Save water (and money) at home or in your business.

    - Get the most value out of the water used.
    Farmers: high-value crops, stock water-smart, best-practice irrigation.
    Gardeners: use arid-zone plants, water-wise watering.

    - Get informed – learn about water use.

    - Get involved – contribute to a secure water future.
    2. Who decides how water is managed, regulated and governed?
    The Northern Territory Government. They are NOW seeking input into the ‘NT Strategic Water Plan’.
    3. Can I have my say?
    Sure! Read the NT Strategic Water Plan Directions Paper. Make a submission.

    Or join upcoming ‘Talking Water’ workshops. Get more informed. Get other perspectives. Contribute to a community submission.

    You can have your say on our water future!
    4. What else can WE do together, as a community?
    A joint effort in 2011-2013 by the community, NT Government, Power and Water, and ALEC called ‘Alice Water Smart’ resulted in a 10-15% decrease in town water use.

    It’s time for us to create a new Water Story together.


    A campaign to address Alice Springs’ water future

    Feb 18, 2022

    A group of local organisations and independent parties join forces to address the town’s water future.

    Talking Water: The Past, the Present; and what Future?

    Nov 23, 2021

    The Talking Water campaign is working to create a more secure water future for Alice Springs.