Essential Water webinar – Water in remote communities

Thursday, 26 August, 2021

Essential Water 

A Webinar series by ICE WaRM


The Essential Water webinars seek to introduce people to water science and management.  They are designed for a broad audience, including those involved in water policy or management but without technical expertise, those who wish to expand their knowledge to areas outside their expertise, young water professionals and members of the community wishing to understand water policy and making.

These webinars are an introductory refresher and partly an update on current thinking and practice on water management issues.

Seminar 4 – Water in remote communities

Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to ‘ensure access to water and sanitation for all’. While this target has been achieved in urban centres across Australia, many smaller remote communities do not have reliable access to safe water services. Yet, delivery of basic water services is recognised internationally as a fundamental pillar of social, economic and cultural wellbeing.

Remote communities in Australia, and across the world face specific challenges when it comes to the provision of water services. Droughts, bushfires and the now the impacts of COVID-19 have brought the difference of service levels between major cities and remote communities into sharp contrast.

South Australia (SA) is often described as the driest state in the driest continent, and climate change is making things worse. (2019 was SA’s driest year on record). For SA, the challenge of delivering water and sanitation services in remote communities is acute.

This webinar will look at how SA is responding to this challenge. A recent report, Falling through the gaps, commissioned by the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) provided recommendations and actions to improve drinking water services for those living in remote SA.  The webinar will reflect on the report and the program of action being undertaken by the State water supply agency SA Water. The use of small scale desalination plants powered by solar, battery and biogas from wastewater is increasing in remote communities.

When: 3:00pm (AEST) Thursday 2 September



Rebecca Law is Senior Policy Officer at the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) with key responsibility over the water portfolio. At SACOSS, Rebecca engages in policy development, research and consumer advocacy to ensure that all South Australians, particularly those who experience structural disadvantage, have access to affordable and reliable essential services such as energy and water. Rebecca has led SACOSS work on waged poverty, concessions, and co-developed the Utilities Stress Indicators concept. She is currently interested in the social policy dimensions of water resources management, and the equity implications of climate change

Daniel Hoefel is a Senior Manager within SA Water with over 20 years of water industry experience. This has included leading areas of water research, drinking water quality, recycled water and source water security, operational management, the development of water strategies and performance management. Daniel is currently the Senior Manager of Water Expertise & Research and has responsibility for the management of SA Water’s Remote Communities team – who deliver high quality drinking water and wastewater services to remote communities across South Australia

Essential Water seminar series

Water is critical to life – integral to all social, economic and environmental activities.  Water underpins food production, electricity generation, livelihoods, life in cities and human health.  SDG 6 targets water and sanitation for all, but water is critical to achieve all the SDGs.

When asked to identify the greatest risks to economies and societies for the next ten years, global leaders from multiple sectors identified water crises as the most prominent risk”.[1]

“By 2050, at least one in four people will live in a country where the lack of fresh water will be chronic or recurrent. He further noted that: 40% of the world’s people are affected by water scarcity; 80% of wastewater is discharged untreated into the environment; and more than 90% of disasters are water-related. More than two billion people lack access to safe water and more than 4.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation services”[2]

Whether you are involved directly in water or not, the emerging water crisis will have widespread impacts.  Here is the opportunity to build your knowledge and broad understanding of the challenge of water for all.

Seminar 3 – Water in remote communities


3:00pmWelcome & IntroductionsTrudy Green
3:03 – 3:18pmOpportunities to improve water services to remote SA communitiesRebecaa Law
3:18-3:33Delivering water services to remote communitiesDaniel Hoefels
3:33 – 2:57pmQuestion & AnswerRebecaa Law, Daniel Hoefels moderated by Trudy Green
3:58pmClosing remarksRussell Rollason

Moderator: B Env Sci, MNRM, Communications Manager, ICEWaRM.

Trudy has worked in water resource management and policy for 20 years. A diverse range of experience across the water industry, including in urban water and wastewater management, catchment management, river operations and water policy.