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Cost Implications of Hard Water on Health Hardware in Remote Indigenous Communities in the Central Desert Region of Australia

Author(s): Heather Browett | Meryl Pearce | Eileen M. Willis

Journal: International Indigenous Policy Journal
ISSN 1916-5781

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 6;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Indigneous | water | health hardware | hard water

The provision of services such as power, water, and housing for Indigenous people is seen as essential in the Australian Government’s "Closing the Gap" policy. While the cost of providing these services, in particular adequate water supplies, is significantly higher in remote areas, they are key contributors to improving the health of Indigenous peoples. In many remote areas, poor quality groundwater is the only supply available. Hard water results in the deterioration of health hardware, which refers to the facilities considered essential for maintaining health. This study examined the costs associated with water hardness in eight communities in the Northern Territory. Results show a correlation between water hardness and the cost of maintaining health hardware, and illustrates one aspect of additional resourcing required to maintain Indigenous health in remote locations.

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