Enhancing drinking water in remote Māori communities
MAI Journal (2019)
The communities of rural Māori settlements in Te Hiku o te Ika (Northland) rely on rainfall for their drinking water, a resource that will be impacted by climate change in the form of droughts and floods which can affect water quality and quantity.
This article reports the findings of a research project that explored exactly how climate change will impact the drinking water in three of these settlements.
The project was designed as integrative Kaupapa Māori research utilising climate science, microbiology and social science to develop community-oriented approaches for dealing with the complex issues caused by climate change.
It used climate change projections, local mātauranga Māori and drinking water studies to build computer-based models of climate change projections for water quality, including the prevalence of bacteria such as E. coli.
Overall, this study demonstrates how findings of transdisciplinary studies can provide more explanatory power than single-discipline research.