The Outback covers 70% of Australia, and its water is precious and scarce. Yet there is no joined-up plan to monitor and manage Outback water, despite the wealth of species and communities that depend on it.
Recently, Tony Abbott asserted the government couldn't afford to fund the "lifestyle choices" of remotely-based Aboriginal people. But such communities could be key to meeting the demands of our future.
Remote Indigenous communities aren't just places to live - they are also crucial for supporting ranger programs and other projects that protect the environment in areas that might otherwise go untended.