Using a policy tracing approach, we analyse the legislating of the Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve (SAWR) in the Northern Territory, Australia. The SAWR is a share of the consumptive pool allocated to eligible Indigenous landowners in water plan areas, providing water resources for future economic development. Drawing on parliamentary and policy sources to reveal competing interests and ideologies, and the challenges of codifying water rights, this study finds that legislating water rights alone is insufficient to achieve water justice - water justice measures must respond to power imbalances and inequities by empowering people with the capabilities to implement their rights.
|International Journal of Water Resources Development
|Published - 2021