Valuing water in law: how can indigenous cultural values be reconciled with Australia's water law in order to strengthen indigenous water rights?

Tran Tran

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The water debate in Australia has expanded to include environmental protection, adaptive management and community engagement, drawing attention to the role and protection of Indigenous cultural values. The National Water Initiative (NWI) contains specific reference to Indigenous interests in water, expressed in terms of access, management and participation in the development of water sharing plans. However, questions of appropriate and adequate participation fall short of meeting Indigenous aspirations. Indigenous relationships to water are not conceptualised according to dominant paradigms of resource management and property. The original objects of the water law framework are focused on security, enforceability, tradability and efficiency, excluding notions of communal title and custodianship underlying Indigenous estates. This article focuses on the role of the law in creating the enabling environment for the recognition of Indigenous water rights. It aims to produce a practical justification for recognising cultural interests in water and to address legal challenges to understanding traditional water use and values, rights and responsibilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-151
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Water Law
    Volume20
    Issue number2/3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • Water rights
    • Indigenous peoples
    • Australia

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