1st Edition

Indigenous Rights and Water Resource Management Not Just Another Stakeholder

By Katie O'Bryan Copyright 2019
    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    In an era of climate change, the need to manage our water resources effectively for future generations has become an increasingly significant challenge. Indigenous management practices have been successfully used to manage inland water systems around the world for thousands of years, and Indigenous people have been calling for a greater role in the management of water resources. As First Peoples and as holders of important knowledge of sustainable water management practices, they regard themselves as custodians and rights holders, deserving of a meaningful role in decision-making. This book argues that a key (albeit not the only) means of ensuring appropriate participation in decision-making about water management is for such participation to be legislatively mandated. To this end, the book draws on case studies in Australia and New Zealand in order to elaborate the legislative tools necessary to ensure Indigenous participation, consultation and representation in the water management landscape.


    1. Indigenous Rights in the International Context

    Part I: Case Study – Australia

    2. History of Water Law in Australia

    3. Indigenous Participation in the Development of Australian Water Management Regimes

    4. Native Title as a Source of Indigenous Water Management Rights

    5. Other Commonwealth Legislation as a Source of Indigenous Water Management Rights

    6. Overview of State and Territory Water Management Regimes

    Part II: Case Study: Victoria

    7. Indigenous Involvement in Water Management – the Water Act 1989 (Vic)

    8. Victorian Indigenous Rights Legislation and the Management of Water Resources

    9. Indigenous Participation in Water Management via Environmental and Land Management Legislation

    Part III: Case Study: Aotearoa-New Zealand

    10. History of Water Law in Aotearoa-New Zealand

    11. Engaging with Māori Rights: Native Title, and the Resource Management Act 1991 (NZ)

    12. Treaty Settlements

    Part IV: The Way Forward

    13. Legislative Reform Proposals

    14. Lessons to be Learned


    Katie O'Bryan is based in the Faculty of Law at Monash University, Melbourne.