Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program
About the program
The Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program (ACWSP) aims to improve water supply and sewerage services in eligible Aboriginal communities in New South Wales (NSW). The program began in December 2008 and is a joint initiative of the NSW Government and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC).
Together, the government and the NSWALC are investing more than $200 million over a 25 year period to provide funding for the maintenance, operation and repair of water supply and sewerage systems in 62 eligible Aboriginal communities.
The department is responsible for managing the water and sewerage program. Aboriginal Affairs is the lead government agency, while NSW Health plays an important role by monitoring health standards for water and sewerage systems in the communities involved.
Aboriginal communities participating in the ACWSP can be viewed in the interactive map below.
The ACWSP aims to raise the standard of service by engaging local water utilities with expertise and experience in the management of water supply and sewerage systems to operate and manage water and sewerage infrastructure in these communities.
Since the ACWSP commenced in 2008 there have been verified improvements in water quality and infrastructure including the introduction of water disinfection. Studies have shown that the risk of diarrhoeal disease associated with sub-standard water and sewerage systems is between 2.5 and 3.85 times higher than in communities with well managed systems. There is also an elevated risk for many other diseases such as respiratory infections.
The program focuses on consultation between the local community and stakeholders. The department facilitates regular meetings at each community to examine existing infrastructure and services, and discuss what actions need to be taken to improve service levels to the standard expected in the wider community. These meetings include participants from the following:
- local Aboriginal community
- local water utility
- NSW Health
Further information regarding the program can be found on the Aboriginal Affairs and NSWALC websites: