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Children’s Ground is working in partnership with SOURCE to improve drinking water access in the underserved community of Irrkerlantye.
The remote Indigenous community of Irrkerlantye near Alice Springs has advanced their access to basic services with a new supply of drinking water. For decades the community has campaigned for improved amenities including power, sewage services, and drinking water. A collaboration between First Nations community led organisation, Children’s Ground, and SOURCE Global, the creator of renewable drinking water technology, establishes a sustainable, reliable and resilient source of drinking water in Irrkerlantye.
“It’s tough,” said Felicity Hayes, an Irrkerlantye elder who has consistently advocated for the small community. “We live just 3 kms from the centre of Alice Springs. You can turn a tap on and drink the water at houses down the road from us, less than a kilometre away. The installation of SOURCE Hydropanels changes everything regarding safe drinking water for our families. The fact we can access our own high-quality drinking water right here makes a huge difference.”
SOURCE® Hydropanel technology uses the power of the sun to draw pure, constantly replenished water vapour out of the air to transform it into fresh, perfectly mineralised drinking water on site. Produced entirely off-grid, the array of Hydropanels provides a powerful solution to help meet the needs of remote communities that may lack access to traditional infrastructure. Irrkerlantye is not the only community to lack access – Children’s Ground has already identified numerous outstations and homelands, including Burt Creek and Mt Undoolya in the Northern Territory that struggle with lack of consistent access to adequate drinking water supply.
Jane Vadiveloo, CEO of Children’s Ground, has welcomed the installation, but emphasises it is clear more needs to be done. “At Children’s Ground, we believe that every child and family should have access to the essential services they need to thrive. Clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, and it is unacceptable that so many remote Indigenous communities in Australia still face significant challenges in accessing this essential resource. Our collaboration with SOURCE demonstrates how innovative technologies can begin to address the critical, long-term issues of remote Indigenous communities across Australia.”
Community leaders want to stress that SOURCE will provide important clean drinking water. However there remains a gap in water security and the need for the community to be connected to the town water supply so that they can meet all of their water needs. They remain hopeful that the Federal and Territory Government will come to the table and support communities like Irrkerlantye. The recent commitment of $150 million in new funding to support drinking water delivery in remote and regional Indigenous communities by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney has been welcome news, however the situation requires an immediate solution.
“We want all Australians to join us in advocating for clean drinking water as a basic human right and to support efforts to address the issues that contribute to water insecurity in remote Aboriginal communities,” said Felicity. “There are real solutions that can work to solve these problems now.”
“This installation is a great example of how SOURCE Hydropanels can provide renewable, drought-proof drinking water to support the health and sustainability of local indigenous communities,” said Alex Polson, Director Market Development for SOURCE. “Water stress and climate change presents an ongoing challenge to remote families that we see manifested in the cost and environmental burden of bottled water and high-sugar drinks.”
Full media release available below.