Water can include naturally-occurring radioactive material leached from rocks and soil, and it’s important that guidelines are in place to ensure the safe management of our water supply. 

Through its program of rolling reviews, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is in the process of updating the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (2011) to reflect international best practice in management of the radiological quality of drinking water. 

These guidelines provide the water supply industry and relevant health authorities a framework for managing the quality of water supplied to communities throughout Australia.  

Feedback is now being sought from the public on these updates, which includes updated terminology to ensure alignment with international guidance and information to better reflect the Australian context for consideration of radionuclides in drinking water.

ARPANSA provided scientific input and advice throughout the review of these guidelines and is confident that the draft continues to provide a solid framework for public safety.

‘We’re pleased to have contributed to this review to ensure that the guidelines remain up to date with international best practice in radiation protection’, said Dr Rick Tinker, Director of Assessment and Advice at ARPANSA.

‘The guidelines are an important tool in maintaining Australia’s strong record in management of radiological risk.’

All feedback from the consultation will be addressed by the Water Quality Advisory Committee (WQAC), and jurisdictional water experts on the Environmental Health (enHealth) Radiation Health and Water Quality Expert Reference Panels will be consulted prior to implementing the updates.

Public consultation is available via the public consultation website and is open until Wednesday 12 August 2020, 4pm (AEST).

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