Guaranteed access to reliable drinking water, strong river systems and healthy oceans is a critical concern for Northern Territory communities as we enter a drier, hotter and less certain climate future.
From remote Aboriginal communities such as Yarralin, Ngukkur and Yuelamu to Darwin’s rural outskirts, communities have begun experiencing multiple incidences of water undersupply due to the ongoing impact of climate change.
As rainfall patterns and groundwater levels are reduced in line with predictions, these impacts are set to worsen into the future. The heating of oceans generated through polar cap melt and knock-on effects such as rising ocean acidity and slowing currents also contributes to dramatically altering the marine ecosystems off the Northern Territory coastline. These changes make water security measures centred around guaranteed access for all people a high priority.
Borroloola artist Jacky Green campaigns against water hungry projects ruining the ecosystems of his local area and condemns the colonising roots of this corporate extraction. Andrick Ross raises similar concerns from a different part of the Territory highlighting how private ownership has altered access to water within his homelands of Epenarra, south east of Tennant Creek. Jennifer Taylor relays the words of Arlyetilhe (Doris Thomas), instructing us how to behave properly within her Country to ensure that drought does not transform into violent deluge. Aly de Groot offers a witty suggestion as to how we can approach the worsening problem of warm currents spiking jellyfish migration by transforming this marine animal into a preserved delicacy. Drawing on her long memory of the Darwin region, Larrakia Elder June Mills addresses the issues of access to water in the era of climate change with her trademark cutting wit.