Clear guidelines for cleaner water

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 31st October 2011

Two key resources designed to ensure Australian water derived from any source is clean and safe to drink were released Friday by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), with support from the National Water Commission:

  1. The revised Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG); and
  2. The expanded Community Water Planner (CWP) tool. 

Clean, safe drinking water is a blessing Australians often take for granted- but the quality and safety of Australian water is no accident.

Used by catchment and water resource managers, drinking water suppliers, water regulators and health authorities, the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) provides an authoritative reference to the Australian community and the water supply industry on what defines safe, good quality water, how it can be achieved and how it can be assured. It is continually revised to ensure it represents the latest scientific evidence on good quality drinking water.

Following the latest review, the ADWG was expanded to include 120 new physical/chemical fact sheets, nine new microbial indicator fact sheets and a new section on pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting chemicals.

The CWP is an online tool developed by the NHMRC that assists remote and Indigenous communities to produce clean, safe drinking water by generating water safety plans tailored to their specific community. It includes information on preventing microbial, physical, chemical and radiological risks in drinking water. 

 “When the Community Water Planner was trialed in 21 Indigenous communities, fewer people experienced water-borne diseases,” said Murray Radcliffe, Acting General Manager of the National Water Commission.

The ADWG and CWP can be accessed at:

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (2011)