Indigenous water governance in Australia: comparisons with the United States and Canada
Aboriginal participation in water resources decision making in Australia is similar when compared with Indigenous peoples' experiences in other common law countries such as the United States and Canada; however, this process has taken different paths. This paper provides a review of the literature detailing current legislative policies and practices and offers case studies to highlight and contrast Indigenous peoples' involvement in water resources planning and management in Australia and North America. Progress towards Aboriginal governance in water resources management in Australia has been slow and patchy. The U.S. and Canada have not developed consistent approaches in honoring water resources agreements or resolving Indigenous water rights issues either. Improving co-management opportunities may advance approaches to improve interjurisdictional watershed management and honor Indigenous participation. Lessons learned from this review and from case studies presented provide useful guidance for environmental managers aiming to develop collaborative approaches and co-management opportunities with Indigenous people for effective water resources management.