Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56

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Methods and approaches to support Indigenous water planning: An example
from the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory, Australia
Suzanne Hoverman a,⇑, Margaret Ayre b,1
Socio-legal Research Centre, Griffith University, Kessels Road, Nathan, Queensland 4011, Australia
Melbourne School of Land and Environment, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010 Australia

a r t i c l e i n f o s u m m a r y

Article history: Indigenous land owners of the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory Australia have begun the first formal
Available online 21 March 2012 freshwater allocation planning process in Australia entirely within Indigenous lands and waterways.
The process is managed by the Northern Territory government agency responsible for water planning,
Keywords: the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport, in partnership with the Tiwi Land
Indigenous water values Council, the principal representative body for Tiwi Islanders on matters of land and water management
Water planning and governance. Participatory planning methods (‘tools’) were developed to facilitate community partic-
Planning tools
ipation in Tiwi water planning. The tools, selected for their potential to generate involvement in the plan-
Indigenous Aboriginal water management
Tiwi Islands
ning process needed both to incorporate Indigenous knowledge of water use and management and raise
Groundwater awareness in the Indigenous community of Western science and water resources management.
In consultation with the water planner and Tiwi Land Council officers, the researchers selected four
main tools to develop, trial and evaluate. Results demonstrate that the tools provided mechanisms which
acknowledge traditional management systems, improve community engagement, and build confidence
in the water planning process. The researchers found that participatory planning approaches supported
Tiwi natural resource management institutions both in determining appropriate institutional arrange-
ments and clarifying roles and responsibilities in the Islands’ Water Management Strategy.
Ó 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction objective of the research was to develop approaches and mecha-
nisms—referred to here as ‘planning tools’—to assist and support
This article reports research and outcomes from the Water Plan- Tiwi landowners and their institutions in undertaking water plan-
ning Tools (WPTs) project, designed to facilitate Indigenous2 com- ning in the context of contemporary water management in Australia.
munity engagement in a water planning process on the Tiwi Islands The aims were to enhance awareness of the Tiwi planning process, to
in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia. The Tiwi water planning promote community engagement, and to build and augment social
process is the first formal process for a freshwater system entirely learning. It was anticipated that the planning tools would enable
within Aboriginal lands and waterways in Australia. It falls within Tiwi people to make informed decisions about the future manage-
the framework for water planning provided under the national blue- ment of their water resources.
print for water reform, the National Water Initiative (NWI) (Council The challenge was to find ways to articulate Tiwi knowledge,
of Australian Governments, 2004) described more fully elsewhere aspirations and interests in water resources in the water manage-
(Tan et al., 2012, this issue). The process is a partnership between ment plan. To address this challenge, researchers from the Com-
the Tiwi Land Council (TLC), the representative body for land and monwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
water management for the Tiwi Islands, and the NT government (CSIRO) and Griffith University worked closely with the TLC, com-
agency responsible for water planning, the Department of Natural munity members, the Water Resources Branch of NRETAS, and the
Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (NRETAS). The broad NT Power and Water Commission (PowerWater). Research goals,
defined in an agreement between the WPT research team and
the TLC, aimed to support Tiwi people in recording their knowl-
⇑ Corresponding author. edge and perspectives on water resources and features as well as
E-mail address: (S. Hoverman). future water demands; and to determine the cultural, social, eco-
Formerly CSIRO Division of Ecosystem Sciences, PMB 44 Winnellie, NT 0822, nomic and environmental impacts of water use and management
While ‘Aboriginal’ is sometimes used to refer to the original inhabitants of
options (Tiwi Land Council, 2009). The action research methodol-
Australia, the term ‘Indigenous’ is preferred in Northern Australia, and will be used for ogy is fully described in Mackenzie et al. (2012, this issue).
the sake of consistency. Researchers worked in collaboration with Tiwi institutions and

0022-1694/$ - see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

use). testimonies and activities (Walsh perspective.48 S. 2004). 1998. 2010) which would potentially expand small business and tourism development and therefore increase The Tiwi Islands of Melville and Bathurst are located 60 km water use. Social and economic context to Indigenous estates or ‘country’ (Haig et al. The rate of flow and morphology of formal water planning process that will apply to wholly Indige- these features is contingent on seasonal fluctuations in rainfall and nous-owned lands. 2008). monsoonal vine forests. McFarlane. 103). and its iterative waters and resources (Kate Hadden. the capital of the Northern Territory. allocation and expression of geographic information systems (Harmsworth. Surface water features include soaks. Currently there is not a high demand for the water resources of National water policy recognizes the need for Indigenous repre- the Tiwi Islands. creativ- perennial and ephemeral features of particular significance to Tiwi ity. As Lane and Water Study determined that water resources of high quality were McDonald (2005) note. wetlands and past involvement and demonstrated interest mark out the Tiwi . public open spaces and is clear that more needs to be done to consider the cultural and sporting facilities. of whom 92.. formed between 18. pers. 2004. 2006. flexibility. 2003) and lands. and Paiva. springs. Both savannah woodlands.. p. Hoverman. Through past collaborations with NRETAS (Haig et al. 2003). future development and growth stimulated by community leasing and the NT ‘Growth 2. 2010).. field visits 2. an analysis con- participate in planning processes is. 2009. comm. streams/rivers. Many of these tools are designed to elicit and record Indigenous Representatives from each of the eight traditional owner groups knowledge and aspirations for management. Corbett land and natural resources. For example. indigenous priorities. 2003.. 2007. Jackson et al. such that the persons’ iden- tural mapping’ methods of Indigenous sites and knowledge using tity is connected to the ownership..4% were Indigenous (URS. There are both Such arrangements would require consultation. The two is. 2006. 2009. this research can offer insights into ties for economic development. Consumptive water use includes water for irriga- sentation to address Indigenous water management objectives. 2007). Planning context and issues shallow unconfined aquifer that covers most of both islands (Haig et al. swamps and waterholes dependent on groundwater re- and Morrison. However. 2010). 2009). It tion of small-scale horticultural crops. All freshwater springs are maintained through the appropriate arrangements for water resource decision-making.2. water allocation charged by seasonal rainfall during the wet season between Octo- planning on the Tiwi Islands is unique in Australia as the first ber and April (Haig et al. Islanders participate on the Council based on their knowledge in culturally appropriate ways but also as a means of affiliations and responsibilities for owning and managing lands. 2002.. demonstrated a commitment to planning and managing their are characterized by tropical monsoonal vegetation including water resources sustainably (John Hicks. Srinivasan. and supports the groundwater-dependent eco- In recent years state and federal governments and the National systems that characterize Tiwi landscapes.. 1). there is a strong connection between land..1. It was important therefore to use culturally transpiration. 2009). 2006. 2000). this issue. The majority timedia techniques. road works. Biophysical – hydrological and ecological context Towns’ strategy (Tan et al. 2003).. Our work addresses a make up the Land Council. 2. for in government water planning processes (Hamstead et al. 2007. Moran. at least in part. As part of the project the zation of aspirations of Indigenous communities in Australia and researchers canvassed Tiwi Islanders’ interest in initiatives such elsewhere.’ By embedding planning tools within a for- However Tiwi Islanders are interested in exploring opportuni- mal water allocation process. facilitating participation in the planning process.. to produce interactive maps and spatial interfaces as partic- ships of Nguiu (now known as Wurrumiyanga) and Wurankuwu ipatory planning tools (Corbett et al.. n. comm. 2010. Ens et al. and mineral sands mining. pers.. mangrove forest along the coast alternating with white sandy bea- implement and evaluate research practice. p. 2003). 176 plant and 14 animal species dependent community.. 2003). and facilitated. as opportunities for new enterprises. Schult. Jackson billabongs. 2010. ville Island (see Fig. . M.19). The second system is Water Commission have supported several projects exploring how a deep aquifer of sandstone confined within impervious claystone Indigenous knowledge of water resources can be best accounted and siltstone. Jackson. There are two regional aquifer systems on the islands. from a Tiwi audio recordings of story-telling. ‘cul- and the associated plants and animals.d. Wang and Burris. 1997). et al. 2012. Bhattarya and Nitesh. National Water Commission. Ayre / Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56 community members to iteratively identify research questions. 2007) enous communities and their research partners are also using mul- drawn mainly from eight traditional owner groups. The 2003 Tiwi Islands 2012. Lynch et al. The geo- logical formation identified as Van Dieman Sandstone is a regional. scenario development and visioning (Wollenberg et al. 2004. and at Pirlangimpi and Milikapiti on Mel- sity... 2011). Charles Darwin Univer- (also known as Rangku).. Puri. upon freshwater for survival are valued for traditional use (Tiwi A wide range of participatory processes is used internationally Land Council. the native title representative body with gap in current research by investigating how participatory plan- overarching natural resource management and governance ning tools can be used not only to represent Tiwi Indigenous responsibilities. 2003. design. community-based workshops (Whiting In 2006 the estimated residential population of the Tiwi Islands et al. dry season by groundwater (Haig et al. and has implications for the reali- increase demand on water resources. north of Darwin. including satellite imagery and topographic of people live in the Bathurst Island community centers or town- maps. domestic use (drinking water and household economic expectations of Indigenous communities (Jackson et al. 1993. and openness on the part of research partners and the Tiwi Islanders. (a)). . ‘the capacity of indigenous [sic] people to adequate for existing demand (Haig et al. 2008. and in Australia in community development and Natural Resource Under customary law Tiwi Islanders have management respon- Management (NRM).a crucial factor in determin- firmed by an NRETAS technical assessment in May 2010 (Gray ing the extent to which planning outcomes reflect. therefore population expansion participatory planning to support sustainable water resource man- and future commercial horticulture and other developments will agement on Indigenous estates. water and Mitchell.. ches and cliffs. Australian Indig- was 2512 people... photographic and sibilities for all lands and waters. More importantly. They include the video.000 and 7000 years ago when rising sea the recent partnership with the NT government the Islanders have levels separated the islands from the mainland (Haig et al.

the National Water Initiative 2009). ment’s water reform blueprint. are defined to in- methods and to elicit matters of importance in water planning. fishing and under- 2. p. to assist (NT).. as well as providing a flexible approach to policy and legal (NWI). ship rights are recognized by statutory law. Australian land rights legislation gen. water planning process that would be responsive to Tiwi gover- including statutory water planning. whether Tiwi decision-makers would declare the Tiwi Islands a on the Tiwi Islands is further complicated by federal legislation Water Control District. challenges facing the Tiwi water planning process. by the Native Title Act 1993 and NT legislation (Northern Territory ulatory framework that includes the Water Act (NT) 1992 which Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1986). provides for the investigation. Additional responsibilities arise under the federal Native Title Act 1993 and the Northern Territory 3. The Tiwi Islands is currently not a declared Water Control in the development of a Tiwi Islands water allocation plan. for example. the Tiwi Land Rangers . under the ALR Act. These issues included. to administer and manage land. the first Indigenous been declared as a Water Control District under the Water Act Water Planner in the Water Resources Branch of NRETAS. protection. freshwater or inland waters. Planning challenges Pastoral Land Act 1992. In 2008 the TLC agreed to participate in a water planning pro- management and administration of water resources. The water allocation plans can only be developed in areas that have NT government appointed Michael Schmid. Islanders as interested partners in a trial to refine engagement not include minerals which. nance and resource capabilities (Ian Lancaster. Tiwi elders who may not necessarily in the Northern Territory. Map of towns and outstations of the Tiwi Islands. While the ALR Act may grant inalienable communal land title to The Water Planning Tools researchers identified a number of the Tiwi traditional owners. NRETAS District. and a series of water allocation plans. control. Hoverman. Planning ple. comm. M. for exam- within a region according to collaboratively agreed rules. 1. committed to supporting Tiwi landowners and the TLC to develop a The NT government is committed to achieving the targets. S. 30). the Water cess supported by the NT government and funded by the Austra- Regulations (NT). pers. including erally makes no mention of Indigenous ownership or rights to designing the process and engaging Tiwi Islands stakeholders. clude water (Jackson and Altman. set by the federal govern. Statutory lian Government through the National Water Commission. just as their land owner- interests and systems. any grant of freehold title does hold current positions on the Council. Ayre / Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56 49 Fig. its Natural Resource Man- Act (NT) declares that the Crown owns all surface and groundwater agement (NRM) Committee. 2009. Planning issues taking cultural and spiritual activity in the exercise or enjoyment of native title rights (Jackson and Altman. Section 9. Further. and consultation with Tiwi authorities on which gives statutory authority under the Aboriginal Land Rights whether the eventual Water Management Strategy would have (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (ALR Act) to the Tiwi Land Council statutory or merely administrative force. allocation. issues associated with Tiwi water management under the NWI ests in the allocation or sharing of water for different purposes and NT government frameworks. Nevertheless Tiwi Lessons learned from this research process will assist NT and other Islanders believe that freshwater on their Country belongs to them Australian water planners to address and acknowledge Indigenous in accordance with their customary law. The NWI processes aim to reconcile the diversity of inter. Rights to use inland waters for the purposes of hunting. gathering. 2009) are recognized The NT government manages its water resources through a reg. of the Water The main stakeholders included the TLC. use.3.

2. and other interested people who at- quate time would allow all parties to engage with the project at tended the Tiwi Open Days and other informal interactions between a realistic pace. values and objectives use and management. Islanders can make informed decisions about water ural Resource Management Committee (the NRM Committee) are management. water and sanitation ser- A major challenge was that there was not yet any obvious issue vices to Indigenous communities (PowerWater.  cross-communicating Western scientific and Tiwi knowledges The complexity of administrative arrangements and responsi. essential services and health and community services ities for Tiwi water resources. have ‘planning tools’. assessing the impacts bilities for water management on the Tiwi Islands was a challenge of developing and managing water resources so that Tiwi to the process and its embedded WPT project.50 S.multiple bases for entitlement to ac- cess resources and . and research techniques. governance and deci. To minimize potential con- ture sustainable use of Tiwi water resources. infrastructure and tions. Other stakeholders included industry bodies such as Tiwi nance and procedural protocols. . members of the Tiwi Islands Shire Council and the com. economic and environ- mental impacts of water use and management options (see Tiwi 3. 2).(b)). the researchers worked with NRETAS and PowerWater to coordinate engagement 3. The TLC and its Nat. the primary institutions responsible for decisions about issues that affect Tiwi lands. 100 including approximately 10–12 Tiwi Land Rangers. Thus the TLC required that following requirements: the project’s partner organizations should work in culturally appropriate ways to facilitate Tiwi visions and objectives for water  eliciting information to identify the uses. Under customary law Indigenous land ownership. Water supply is the responsibility of agencies. and management options consistent with established Tiwi gover- munity. the Tiwi Land Rangers and the their custom. Tool trials sion-making acknowledge ‘. Land Delegates. as ‘water stressed’ (PowerWater. beginning with an environmental studies and research ac- the first stage. A research Given the unique context of the Tiwi water planning process. WPT researchers worked with Tiwi research partners cess agreement (Tiwi Land Council. agriculture and fisheries.. 2005. Ade- workshops (see Section 4. 2008). . We therefore sought to trial engagement methods that Islands to undertake the collaborative work of developing planning elicited and credited Tiwi values and water governance while also tools for the Tiwi water planning process. complex classificatory relationships locating From a context analysis of Tiwi water planning (Ayre. and determine the cultural. were selected for their ability sity personnel to provide ongoing guidance and approval for to ‘give concrete form to abstract ideas and open processes up to a . involvement to achieve the Tiwi vision for the management of natural and cultural resources (Tiwi Land Council. 4. This agreement formally and NT water agency staff to determine the appropriate working sets out the relationship between parties and elaborates their arrangements for the project. and produce a context analysis for Tiwi responsibilities. p. demands. ited and reflected their knowledge and governance of water. Jack- Environmental Secretariat of the Tiwi Land Council as the most son. Another challenge was the inclusion of the multiple institu- mental protection. 58). 2008. social. here as participatory planning ‘tools’. 2008.1). CSIRO and Griffith Univer. p. 2006. During with either the quantity or quality of water on the Tiwi Islands. M. p. we chose to focus on the resources’ (Davies et al. 2009). particularly in those Indigenous communities identified both recognized the importance of strategic planning to ensure fu. 2009). 2008). . Participatory engagement methods and approaches. 2009) and all members of [Tiwi] society in relationships to each other and to in discussion with NRETAS and the TLC. Research protocols and coordination and communication with Tiwi communities and the TLC. forestry and sand mining enterprises. In 2009 The TLC and NRETAS signed a Memoran- water planning (Ayre.d. eight Tiwi The planning tools also needed to engage the Tiwi communities. In the TLC. agreement between the WPT research team and the TLC defined NRETAS and the researchers agreed to communicate regularly with the following goals: support the recording of Tiwi knowledge and the TLC and to spend time on developing appropriate ways of perspectives on water resources and features as well as future water working with the Tiwi community. Thirdly. Hiscock. and periodic debriefings (Jackson and The TLC’s environmental policy promotes broad community O’Leary. For the Tiwi water planning process appropriate to both engage Tiwi people in the water planning pro- all parties needed to work with concepts and knowledge/s based cess and elicit Tiwi values and objectives for water planning. Tiwi groups have for water and water management. PowerWater which provides electricity. . 2009). dum of Understanding to guide their partnership and the imple- pated in deliberations with these partners to select potential ap. n. and NT government environ. PowerWater began its own water Generally community members did not express major concerns planning program working with communities to improve their for their water resources although the TLC and the NT government water use. approximately 20–35 TLC members (at four formal decision-makers and institutions over a sufficiently long time- meetings). law and practice (Matsuyama and Haig. WPT researchers worked with water agency staff and Tiwi research partners to trial the chosen water Tiwi Islanders. government agencies and service providers with responsibil- planning. In the planning process. mentation of Tiwi water planning. as with many other Indigenous peoples. These tools were selected by the researchers in con- extensive and detailed knowledge of water resources derived from sultation with the Water Planner. Secondly. 2003. The WPT researchers developed protocols for engagement with The WPT project methodology followed a three-stage process. Tool requirements Land Council. proaches to engaging the range of stakeholders. fusion over water related roles and responsibilities. waters and communities. Most parties had lit- Researchers undertook participant observation at four meetings of tle experience of the law behind each others’ water management the TLC and its NRM Committee and made over 20 visits to the Tiwi policies.1. engaging with Tiwi people in ways that elic. in both Western scientific and Tiwi traditions. providing each other with explanations of planning WPT researchers and Tiwi people and their institutions. they facilitated and partici. Ayre / Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56 employed by the TLC to undertake land and water management consultation mechanisms and for the development of water use activities. about water and hydrological systems. referred to these institutions worked with NRETAS. the Tiwi water planning process. Tiwi community members who attended the community frame to raise awareness and understanding of the issues. 68). The total numbers of Tiwi facilitating learning about Western scientific concepts such as the people estimated to have been involved in the WPT project is over water cycle and hydrological systems. Hoverman.

The number of people attending the workshops varied from decision-making (Castleden et al. rainfall. 2001) was used in two of the community workshops. sources we used a working 3D Groundwater Model to link water Effective participatory tools have the potential to validate com. Planner’s demonstration and explanation of conceptual elements we developed four main tools. senior land owners nication and local management effectiveness (Abel et al. However we are not the participants who were more concerned about water supply aware of any detailed empirical studies on their direct application and infrastructure. 2002). They are: at particular water sites. 2001. This allowed the process to be as experiential as mised that many women found it more difficult than men to attend possible and to allow collective activities to give rise to questions weekday workshops and thus adjusted our methods. Subsequent workshops took place outdoors during the recon- ums to engage women. At the first workshop. to identify significant water places. 2003). resources to water supply. for example participants with different levels of knowl. in this case. 1997. and input. and align understandings between people with different perspec- water. For example. The first two workshop evaluations temporary natural resource management strategies over the past found that groundwater issues seemed to have little relevance to two decades (Walsh and Mitchell. Participatory community mapping to elicit current water uses of the water cycle. Hoverman. and water users (for example a community edge and technical expertise in Western water resource horticulture enterprise). on the location. bores). A sense of joint inquiry was enhanced by the Water In negotiation with NRETAS. we consulted sponded to questions and prompts from the workshop facilitators. They 1. Gambold. and sources within a community. 135). mat and content to encourage participation. 2007. and objectives for water resource management. elicit 4. structure (i. water re- tory planning tool as they allow for different learning styles. vance. 2008). The Water Planner and WPT researchers attended two com. They were held between November 2009 and April 2010 people (Walsh and Mitchell. four community work.. 2002. the Water Planner and TLC officers. Ayre / Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56 51 range of people’ (Walsh and Mitchell. emerging tool to empower local communities and Indigenous peo- 2002). and improve rele- ipation and confidence in planning processes (Gambold. water-dependent ecosystems and the Western scientific concept 2.. 2012) stimulated the most active participation. 2003. The tool has been fore running a trial community water planning workshop with the previously used in Australia to represent institutional constructs Tiwi Rangers. 2002). However as the project developed we sur. and control mechanisms. In conformity with cultural protocols. billabong tives and knowledge of Tiwi water resources and management. Such tools have in the main communities of Pirlangimpi. The aim of these trips was to familiarize everyone with the physical tools also had to be flexible enough in their design and delivery environment and promote a discussion of key issues. and enable cross-cultural 10 to 40 and included children. and environmental protection’ (Mbile. IFAD. we identified a need to both raise awareness of Reconnaissance trips. Community workshops This tool features visual rather than verbal analytical and presenta- tional techniques to elicit. Participatory mapping water values and aspirations. 2007. 4. In other research such discussions have shown improved commu- 4. involve a group water issues and develop ways of providing a forum where both of local knowledge experts and technical experts traveling together community members and their institutions could engage in the to places to identify key issues and review progress in planning. enhance capacity and Nguiu. For example. Ranku and the potential to support mutual learning. Milikapiti. Using tools either together or in sequence important. . Live gramme describes Participatory (Resource) Mapping as ‘an & Learn Environmental Education. and discuss approaches to the development of a Water Management Strategy. access and use of resources. 2002. Visits-to-Country with Tiwi Water Trustees. As the WPT project progressed. Water Planner. By planning process. water supply and monitoring infra- ent groups. on both content and process. 1998). aquifer recharge. populated regions (Walsh and Mitchell. 2009). Following the trial workshop. shops were carried out with several main objectives: to raise and record topographical phenomena from remote and sparsely awareness and share information about Tiwi water resources. ples to become more involved in natural resource management munity gatherings and two meetings of the Tiwi Land Council be. collect and plot community information Community workshops are a flexible and adaptable participa.. 156). p. we learnt that the workshop venue was Kyem and Saku. Community workshops featuring reconnaissance trips to water also visited a local spring-fed swimming hole and discussed infrastructure and water places of local significance. these tools have We designed an evaluation process for the workshops focused been used by Indigenous communities in Australia to develop con. observed that the local site visit or ‘reconnaissance trip’ (Commu- From early observations and discussions with the TLC and the nity Planning Net. and generated little discussion in comparison with later workshops ning outcomes by offering overlapping approaches to authenticate held in open-air buildings and outside. who have been nominated to represent the interests of each land owning group. During the to accommodate diverse interests in water resources: different trips participants interacted informally as they visited sites includ- methods of engagement might be needed to accommodate differ. participants visited a bore and discussed groundwater level fluctuations and recharge. 34). Participatory mapping (Muller and Wode. Walsh and Mitchell. such as relationships between different organizations or groups. munity knowledge. Visits to the water pumping station produced and values and share information on existing management discussions on chlorination. This forum should facilitate discussion on a ‘planning tool’ we are referring to an approach or method to sup- range of matters which included water values. sewage treatment issues and pumping practices..e. These on-site discussions served to share 3. Participants volunteered questions or re- management. with the TLC and there was no requirement to hold separate for. In particular. heighten ownership of shared information. S. and spring flow. p. current and planned port community engagement in the water planning process. Workshops held indoors attracted fewer participants can increase the intensity of participation and the validity of plan. a recognized planning tool. it resembles ‘traditional Aboriginal methods for describing Dream- ment and the potential elements of a water plan for the Tiwi Is. and increase partic. we information (Broughton and Hampshire. To introduce discussion on groundwater re- in water planning. we adapted the workshop for- strengthen relationships between participants. Walsh maintains and to discuss the concept of Western scientific water manage. 2008). An operating 3D Physical Groundwater Model relating ground. The United Nations Environment Pro- tailor activities to meet varied interests (Whiting et al.2. ing tracks and sites’ and is therefore easily understood by local lands. 2009. naissance trips. ing: natural water features. M. production bores. p. communication (Baker et al.1. The water uses.

the spring flowing as a result of a high and ris- sources location. the Trustees and Rangers could instruct the WPT researchers and the Water Planner about the value of partic- ular water sites and their aspirations for water management. uses and values. In considering the map together with the researchers gible and visual representation of water dynamics as a catalyst to the women provided the following information: promote an exchange of knowledge and to stimulate discussion. as shown in Fig. . to focus discussion on past uses and contemporary management The objective of using the Groundwater Model was to use a tan- concerns. ten information nor on complex technologies. the community. The Trustees number of women to identify: were asked by WPT project researchers to identify the location of ‘important’ water sites on Country. At community Secondly. Bosch et al. Planner and researchers to these locations. In some workshops they considered the potential side of the billabong in the event of sea level rise. the to-Country’ planning tool supported the integration of Western demonstration of the aquifer recharge and discharge cycle was and Tiwi knowledges through a shared experience of being to- repeated several times. and the drying out of the billabong as the water ta- the researcher and Water Planner used copies of a map of the area ble lowered. It created a shared  they used to fish and camp at the billabong as children. 2000). Hoverman. At the Ranku community meeting of both men and women we employed maps and a laminated A3-sized aerial photograph of the 4. As discussed below in Sec-  particular wetland areas as good hunting places. and pumping event. pumping from a contribution of significant and specialized knowledge (IIRR. experience for the participants in which they could initiate discus-  a large crocodile is believed to inhabit the billabong.4. the Trustees’ responsibilities in- A working 3D Physical Groundwater Model. and they developed an entists view landscapes and interpret landscape processes differently from community (see also Ross and Abel. This mutual engagement helped the parties identify and record water sites of value. and billabong and spring flow. Trustees hold particular native title and custodial rights and cerns about those areas.52 S. Vis- its-to-Country therefore promoted relationship building and mu- tual learning. examine the condition of water monitoring infrastructure. M. Firstly. 1996). effects of changing rainfall patterns from climate change or the im- pacts of increasing water demand. assess. For example. and water-related con. It is important to recognize strates a cross-section of an operating production bore and its this key role of Trustees and to formally acknowledge their unique aquifer and simulates rainfall. Ayre / Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56 For the WPT workshops we used large-scale maps and aerial understanding of the model especially with respect to each rainfall photographs to stimulate community discussions on water re. learnt about Tiwi water values and management Fig. tions) and geo-morphological processes. swimming holes. particular custodial estates or Country. and undertake water sampling. tion 5. Non- Tiwi and Tiwi engaging together through the Visits-to-Country found ways through joint inquiry and reflection to mutually trans- late understandings of landscape processes and water knowledge in place.  the type of bush tucker or wild food resources available in each This research demonstrates the importance of the Visits-to- place according to the time of the year.1 the Trustees initially took responsibility to take the Water  where the community had drawn its water several months ear. the learning environment created through the ‘Visits- the water cycle from a workshop pictorial booklet. favorite planning. production bore. At the billabong in Pirlangimpi ing water table. On the Tiwi Islands. objectives. sion about changes in their own local water features over the wet  concerns about potential salt water intrusion on the seaward and dry seasons. This was successful possibly because it was neither reliant on writ-  the billabong is an important cultural site for Tiwi Islanders. responsibilities on behalf of their kin to care for and manage par- ticular tracts of lands and waters or ‘Country’. along with the Water Planner. the female WPT researchers worked with a smaller its-to-Country based on the ‘reconnaissance trip’. and areas for camping. (2003) noted that managers and sci- and curious about the physical model. 2. As governance issues lier when their bore ceased to operate. Typically. Visits-to-Country region as a template on which to locate and record information. As a di- rect outcome of the Visits-to-Country. There were three main aspects to the success of this tool. 2. This responsibility 4. confirm or select new sites for water monitoring. and the landowners could ask about matters such as the scientific assessments of Tiwi water resources and the planning process. While the male Water Planner located water sites on the map with To ensure that the planning process met the needs and aspira- the men’s group of nine participants and discussed site attributes tions of the TLC and other Tiwi organizations we introduced Vis- and issues. aquifer recharge. were resolved the Trustees delegated the visits to the Tiwi Rangers. 2009). we recorded Tiwi knowl- edge and perspectives on water resources and. planning process to be able to provide advice and information to sion of the hydrologic cycle (ground and surface water interac. and used a schematic of Thirdly. Country planning tool in enabling the appropriate participation tal conditions and of Tiwi knowledge authorities and traditional owners in water  convenient waterholes for collecting clean water. the TLC supported the ‘Visits-to-Country’ because workshops the Water Planner demonstrated the model to simulate Trustees need to be knowledgeable about and engaged in the water hydrologic features and processes and followed this with a discus. water and environmen. clude the right to make decisions about water resources and to introduced after the first workshop. Workshop participants were interested gether on Country. well-received represent others who have ownership and custodial interests in component of the remaining community workshops. It demon.3. Physical 3D Groundwater Model is often referred to by Australian Indigenous peoples as ‘speaking for Country’. The Physical 3D Groundwater Model (photo: Ayre. was a major.

To give an example. Results and discussion knowledge and Tiwi knowledge and values. . knowledge with Tiwi water resource managers took place while ence). Individually our tools did not. Visits-to- nity workshops and supporting posters and workshop booklets tai. These changes reflected Indigenous decision-making with re- gard to accountability. with a Likert scale from 1–5 with 1 indicating ‘not useful’ to 5 indicate ‘useful all or almost all the time’) was also Fig. ically to elicit and explore Tiwi values in water however it can be ticipants revealed a high level of interest and appreciation for the used as a tool for other purposes.1. pers. The four main planning tools differ in the extent to which they enable the mutual recognition and sharing of Western scientific 6. not what their full potential use might ing them to share information about their water issues. methods and relevance of the participatory planning tools. S. 4. relationships developed and mutual exchanges of values and to-Country (possibly because both had only reached a limited audi. . However we found that working engagement tool followed by participatory mapping and Visits. Responses on behalf of both Rangers and community par. 3. According to Kate Hadden. Our research demonstrates that a flexible approach to engagement is required. Transmission effectiveness of participatory planning tools (Tan et al. Likewise..2. However only two Visits-to-Country were made before the Trustees delegated this task to the Rangers. the repeated use of all tools.. the tools were actually used. comm. agreement and subsequent TLC endorsement. pers. p. The commu. The Rangers would develop options and bring proposals to TWAG for Fig. The ideal tool would transmit both Western and Tiwi knowledge and values equally 6. Tiwi Land Rangers‘ survey questionnaire evaluation results (Tan et al. Two months later the NRM Committee recommended that a small working sub-com- mittee made up of Rangers should work with the Water Planner and the WPT researcher as part of the water resource strategy. values and objectives. M. Rangers were asked to assess. Subsequently the Tiwi NRM Committee took over the role of the TWAG. sites together. Environment Secretary for the TLC. in March 2009 it was necessary to make a decision regarding mem- bership and roles in a proposed consultative body for the water plan- ning process. 5. 2012. Adaptive approach The arrangements for participation needed to satisfy both formal government water planning protocols and Indigenous governance and decision-making protocols. uses and deliver. Ayre / Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56 53 5. 2009).. 357). Attendance of women well. Two months later however the TLC decided that existing mechanisms provided ade- quate opportunities for consultation on water issues and that senior Tiwi decision-makers should be engaged directly through Visits-to- Country. 2010. Successive decisions devolving responsibility for the operational role through the hierarchies down to the subcommittee of Rangers: ‘. Results and outcomes 5. The relative positions depicted in Fig. We initially did not provide for separate activities for men and picts this variation. However we found that generally women were under- . such as to communicate more information provided by the 3D Groundwater Model.are evidence that each ‘‘level’’ became confident enough in the project to devolve these responsibilities down to the ‘‘nuts and bolts’’ level’ (Kate Hadden. Subsequent modifications improved the content.1. Fig. A formal survey of the community engagement processes (using a differential for- mat of tick boxes. comm. The TLC established a Tiwi Water Advisory Group (TWAG) and appointed the Trustees to this group. 3 below represents results of a formal evaluation by the sharing a vehicle over the course of a day visiting important water Tiwi Rangers of the four planning tools trialed. nominating the ‘Trustees as the first ‘‘TWAG’’ acknowledges their position and authority for Country. 2009). For example. Fig. This is crit- ical for appropriate consultation and shows the broader Tiwi com- munity that processes are occurring in the correct hierarchy’ (Kate Hadden. the only group to have participated in 353). Country could have been used merely as a means of eliciting Tiwi lored to each community were deemed the next most useful water uses. Hoverman. first on their own behalf and second on behalf of community partici. p completed by the Rangers. how useful each tool had been in engaging them and allow. 4 below de. though used together the set did deliver a balanced exchange of information. women. participatory mapping was introduced specif- values. 4 above are based on how pants. information about Western water planning. Evaluation of tools The planning workshops were evaluated by both the project team and the participants through discussions at the end of work- shops..

An internal. were key impedi. properly resourced. entrepreneurial. and 6. Some delays in releasing the Draft Strategy for comprehen- unique to its context. We modating both Tiwi and NT government institutional found Tiwi Islanders receptive to new ideas. Rambaldi et al. 7. corporate af- and the planning process with due respect to and recognition of fairs. may indicate that women who work outside the home find it more difficult than men to attend weekday workshops. In the more remote communities where apply in other contexts where Indigenous interests and values in there were perhaps fewer opportunities for women to work out. Our project functioned under a negotiated sive consultation with Tiwi Islanders stakeholders occurred due agreement with the TLC and we sought to undertake this research to accountability procedures (i. related to finance. Nazarea et al. plicated by constrained access arrangements. society and circumstances of the Tiwi. freshwater crabbing. the timeframes required to sure women knew of them. community workshops). We recognize therefore that methods and water planning process. Such relationships will be supported by adequate for the Water Planner’s use. com. 3-D Phys- Good coordination and continuity are critical in achieving effec. M. might participatory planning tools to elicit and record knowledge. Department (NRETAS) and the Minister for his/her approval in mation about water resources. easily thwarted by unanticipated circumstances. This considerably improved his and timeframes for mutual learning. the use of existing networks (e. High resource requirements lished using protocols for the design. booklets and posters). and adequately addressed community needs and interests as a priority. Without this. IK Notes. by material demonstrations and communication (e. project team members sought out workplaces with high concen. and that a week.54 S. legal and public affairs) within the NT government. 2002. researchers and Indigenous community members and about water resource management. Planning tools that support participation are characterized by therefore optimize the use of our networks. previously in the Tiwi Island was an important factor for success. Matching approaches to circumstances 9. culturally and socially competent.g. and interacting participatory mapping). Part and their institutions are required to apply appropriate plan- way through the planning process NRETAS dedicated a vehicle ning tools. may differ in other contexts. par- determine who has access to information and knowledge. ical Groundwater Model. This regimes. links to existing activities (e. val- possibly create a more convenient opportunity for women to dis. arrangements and governance to achieve mutual goals and out- ested in exploring opportunities for economic development and comes was recognized by officers of NRETAS and the WPT committed to assessing new ideas and ways against their own researchers as an important and ongoing challenge of the Tiwi goals and objectives. water are critical in determining water management and allocation side the home. and not open to inspection 6. 5.3. This cre. ues and perspectives on water resources and features. Hoverman.. monitoring progress in developing these tools. it can be used. and how ticipation will be seen as a waste of time. Community Open would be the employment of a Tiwi-based facilitator to assist in Days). departmental working group .). munity protocols and processes.2. Indigenous contexts must be negotiated between water plan- 2006. Both should be represented in decisions ners. support participation in research.g. despite our efforts to en. Methods and approaches that facilitate the participation of Indigenous people in water planning must articulate the clear In many Indigenous cultures complex systems of customary law benefits of water planning to the population. For example. attendance at workshops was more balanced. Such a person may very likely already be employed. etc. and maintaining very resource intensive. Each water planning process is 2011. inter. and interpersonal and institutional trust to Nguiu to confirm venue arrangements and distribute posters.. 3. A partial solution was to integrate support continuity of interaction. resourced. The Draft Tiwi Water Resource Strategy was submitted to the ates practical and philosophical constraints on freely sharing infor. across the various institutions to share intelligence and tasks. tiveness of engagement strategies needs to be weighed against 8. However we can draw several key learnings about the applica- trations of women to discuss the up-coming workshop. social. e.g. and sufficient resourcing to Another issue was the poor telecommunication coverage in iso. The presence of an Indigenous Water Planner who had worked the value of successful Indigenous engagement in water planning.g. 1.4. Outcomes to date or comment by those who do not belong to a particular group or groups (Natcher and Hickey. 1994. interactions on Country (e. implementation and review of participatory planning tools alongside a process for Limited and costly communication and transport facilities. 1999).e. adherence to Indigenous com- the WPT researchers’ travel arrangements. 6. These are general concerns in remote areas. That facilitator would need to be well workshop venues.g. during a preliminary trip establish familiarity. Cost effec. Formal working arrangements (partnerships) must be estab- 6. Ayre / Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56 represented in the engagement activities. Positive and productive working relationships between water ments to open communication and good community planning and research agencies and Indigenous communities engagement. to iden- cuss water use and values. and activities that respected. estimate levels of future water demands. and Planning activities that facilitate women’s involvement in explore the cultural.g.g. institutions such as the Tiwi A potential solution to issues of communication and resourcing Rangers). tify sources. economic and environmental Indigenous water planning is an important consideration for future impacts of water use and management options. 4. engaging activities. not freely available but guarded. 2003). lated rural communities where few residents own a mobile phone. incentives to participate (e. allowing a diversity of participants to with community members only when an occasion arises can be share knowledge (e. Accom- the unique history. Tiwi Community Water Planning tive engagement and can be quite resource intensive. 2. The selection and development of planning tools appropriate to sources may differ significantly (Simpson. Planning tools which support mutual learning are characterized Asking others to assist in communicating meeting details can be by adequate development time. The planning process needs to employ culturally appropriate end hunting and gathering activity. Indigenous knowledge is often privileged knowl- edge. provision of appropriate logistics and communication. yet only tion and characteristics of participatory planning tools which may four women attended. Planning tools that support awareness-raising are characterized as we found in the case of our research project. engagement as men’s and women’s knowledge and use of re. approaches chosen for engagement.

comm. Baker. Behav. He noted that Tiwi people involved holders to identify the water values. Altman and Jackson.. December. 2008. January 2012). Castleden. Rangeland J.04. community-based participatory Indigenous research. J. In: Baker. Hoverman. <http:// www. T.. Collingwood. S. 2004. Jackson... This understanding is principally derived from a Western concep. 1–13.. Tehran. Davies. pp. S. comm. Wicks. Develop. such a sion of the research. recognize the strategy as a document of which effort on the part of government planning agencies as it cannot they have ownership and identifies their views on how they would be assumed to be identical to other stakeholders’ needs. London. Dovers..T. We suggest that planning agencies must consider Queensland. . Berkes.. Management Systems. ment perspective’ (M. Res. munities. edging and incorporating the varied interests and values held by communication and> (accessed 13. Context. Farwar. 1997. Bosch. Cenesta. <http://www. Unless meaningful dialogue takes place with Indigenous stake- pers. Working on Country: Contemporary sights and lessons on how to engage Indigenous water managers Indigenous Management of Australia’s Lands and Coastal Regions. nity found no contentious issues and attributed this to the Broughton.02.09). Interactive Maps and Spacial Interfaces.. Understanding what project contributing very positively to the process (K. 2004. however. J. Inform. 2008. <http:// support both agencies and Indigenous communities in undertaking www. Smooth acceptance by internal (government) group has not yet been established. NT government water planners who participated in the research ered options for water management generally based on an and generously contributed their ideas and time. water resources. H. PowerWater officers and sory committees are asked to consider key issues and pre-consid. Sharing knowledge (introduction to Part III).. Morton.. S. . Canberra. 1393– ment in water planning is not merely a matter of refining the stan. D. pers.. This research therefore provides important in. R.03. M. 2008. and gathering feedback on pre-considered options (Tan Commonwealth of Australia and the Governments of New South Wales. in collaboration with both respect and resource. regimes. Indigenous communities and institutions deem beneficial and comm.. M. corporate and legal arms. the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern the unique context and needs of Indigenous communities. Victoria. Indigenous land and sea management: recognize. . Ayre / Journal of Hydrology 474 (2012) 47–56 55 (within NRETAS) (C. Recent feedback from Tiwi suggests that participatory methods Borrini-Feyeraband. Council of Australian Governments. Y. Soc. National Water Commission and their institutions in decisions about the management of their Canberra. Ens et al. it does not usually take account of the range of Indigenous values in water. pers.. A. Bhattarya. A principal objective of this departmental stakeholders is at issue when procedures challenge group would be to champion Tiwi water planning within the or even just fall outside standard operating processes. P. like to manage water resources on the [Tiwi] Islands. 2003. M.. Young. Schmid. The Water Planner also noted that providing a number of options for engaging members of Tiwi communities through the WPT project Acknowledgements was an important part of achieving ownership of and support for the process on the part of Tiwi people and their communities. ACT.. mechanisms and approaches (participatory ‘planning CSIRO Publishing. 12. 2010). H.11). Bridging the Gap: A Guide to Monitoring and approach taken in the WPT project (Kate Hadden. Ross. (Eds. Water Planning Tools Project Report. Community Planning Methods. The Water Planning Tools Project (2008–2010) was funded by the National Water Commission through its Raising National 7. J. R. 1998. J. dard water planning approach of providing information...html> (accessed 24. et al. comm. South Australia.. listing key Charles Darwin University.. collaborative learning and better information management. G. Nitesh.cdu. J. Canberra. Oxford in planning processes and contributes to a growing body of Austra. Conclusion Water Standards Program which supports the implementation of the National Water Initiative. 2012.. E. 2008) on cross-cultural approaches participatory natural resource management: state-of-the-practice. Young. Australian Council for Overseas Aid. Integrating science and management through egy was circulated for comment.. Moorcroft et al. the TLC and the general commu. issues. Taylor and Francis. Harriss Olson. H. 207–214. Altman. We thank the Tiwi Land Council. Indigenous peoples.. 2008. uses and aspirations of their closely in the process have informed him that they have ‘. Modifying photovoice for However responding to the challenge of Indigenous engage.. Electr.. Renard. B. 77–91.. Huu-ay-aht First Nation. Berkes. 2008.communityplanning. O. 107–118. 2012. 2004.. Syst. An internal working within the NT water planning framework and other governance group within government is one way to address this. Syst.. Ross. Ten Commitments: Reshaping the Lucky Country’s Environment. Tiwi officers and communities. Sci... much of the formal water reform a lot from the process and it has influenced them in thinking more process in Australia will continue to be perceived as irrelevant to about their futures particularly from a natural resource manage. Pimbert.12). Tiwi Islanders this research developed. Hampshire. 20 (1). M. a factor that became apparent after the conclu- of the Tiwi Water Resource Strategy was mooted. 2011). University Press. M. Rangers. January 2012).’ (M. ownership will need to overcome potential hurdles within the edge Tiwi authority and custodianship of Tiwi water resources institution’s finance. Med. comm. Thus any Department and engender acceptance from internal stakeholders ‘creative approaches’ that acknowledge Indigenous authority and for any ‘non-standard approaches’ required to credit and acknowl. Integrating indigenous knowledge and GIS for eraband et al. Sharing Power: Learning by Doing in Co-management of Natural Resources and approaches can improve Indigenous engagement in water Throughout the World. Northern tools’) to promote and facilitate engagement of Tiwi Islanders Territory. pers. South Melbourne.. Kothari. 2003. Issues and Gap Analysis for Tiwi Islands. References tion of water and its Ayre. . R. lian (Baker et al.). planning: when the Draft Tiwi Water Resource Management Strat. The Territory (COAG). With the aim of acknowl. E.. pers. Mental models in rangeland research. January 2012). 66.php> (accessed water planning. 20. Good engagement using appropriate planning methods and ap- The Secretariat of the Tiwi Land Council noted that the process proaches is needed to ensure the genuine participation of Indige- of developing the draft Strategy has been successful to date with nous people and their institutions in the water management the efforts and commitment of the Water Planner and the WPT reform in Australia prescribed by the NWI. S. Evaluating Development Projects.. to managing Indigenous ‘country’ or custodial estates.. understanding of benefits to particular segments of the population. Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water use of appropriately tailored and resourced planning tools will Initiative. N. The Water Planner has commented that valuable about water use and management will require increased Tiwi people: ‘. 2004. Sci. 2009. Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and 2012. the government planning agency and Tiwi institutions and com. Tiwi In normative water planning processes in Australia water advi. Schmid. (Eds..learnt communities and institutions. Community Planning Net.. IIED and IUCN/CMWG. Countries 17 (3). Garvin. 1405. 2003.. Beeton. . Abel.) and international literature (Borrini-Fey.. F.. Hadden. In: Lindenmayer.). January 2012) to support Establishing institutional commitment to Indigenous engage- intra and extra-institutional coordination relating to development ment is important. Davies.

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