My group and I have decided on a few of the stakeholders for this project and one of them is the Rangers. If possible Can I know relevant sources that I can use to get to know more about the rangers?
Thanks for sharing your question here. That’s great that you have identified rangers as a key stakeholder group and you are trying to learn more about them to inform your project.
I will respond to your questions as outlined in your email:
1) What are the different classes? Male/females, age variations of rangers, religious and social groups amongst the rangers
2) Some images i can use for the report about the rangers.
3) What are their concerns, interests and needs regarding showers and such projects
3) What the rangers want to achieve.
Q1,2,4: There are varying demographics of rangers across different ranger groups. They include different genders and ages. Design Area 7 outlines most of our resources at the end relating to rangers which you can use to find a lot of this information. Even if you can’t find statistics, qualitative research is still very informative and you can use the sources to inform your report – for example, The Guardian article talks about women in ranger programs and links to other resources on this. This article is also mentions their challenges and their aspirations are often implied in the story. This article also includes images you can use for your report if you like, or the Stories from Country resource in Design Area 7 also. The Conversation article talks about the importance of having ranger programs and what they want to achieve more broadly. Generally, caring for and connection to Country is very important for rangers, as outlined in this interview with Karen and the ‘Guide for visiting Country respectfully’ in the Resources section.
Q3: The key insights from rangers regarding showers are outlined in the project opportunity – 5.3 Mobile showers for ranger programs. This includes an interest and need for a shower that is portable and able to be readily/quickly compacted and transported on a 4WD, and has low-environmental impacts from run-off water to avoid issues such as silting in local waterways or other pollution (their concerns). For the remainder of their concerns, interests and needs perhaps try to empathise with a ranger after reading through the resources. If you were a ranger, what would be important to you for a shower system? What might be a challenge or concern?
Where you can’t find the exact statistics you are looking for, use this EWB Challenge FAQs resource on how to approach this – such as making assumptions and stating these in your report. If you are going to consider demographics like in your Q1, be sure to ask yourself ‘what is this information telling me about the project? How will this influence my design?’. Some things we like to know but we may not need to know a statistic to develop an overall good solution.
I am trying to find out information about the water quality of the different water sources that will be used for the water showers. I know that some of the camps have water tanks but others will have to rely on natural sources for the shower’s water supply. As we are trying to implement a filter system for the shower; are there any relevant sources for the water quality in the camping/ surrounding areas of interest?
In the Resources page you will find examples of water quality data from a brackish bore and surface water, if you haven’t seen these already. I’ve also now added them to Design Area 5’s page for easier reference. You’re right that often there will be rainwater tanks that are used for showering in addition to drinking water and other uses. You should be able to find generic information available online regarding rainwater quality.
As the project description mentions the common availability of rainwater tanks, I would suggest you assume this is the main water supply for showers. So, for the water supplying the mobile showers, you don’t need to incorporate a filter as rainwater will be of sufficient quality for showering. Instead, in addition to the mobile shower design, the focus will be on the water management of the output water from the shower to reduce the environmental impact of the runoff water. For example, this might include some form of filtration and release mechanism or other process to appropriately manage the greywater.
However, if you’re particularly interested in filtration, I suggest you consider completing the project ‘5.1 Water treatment system for saline bores’.
Hope this helps!
This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Grace Roberts.
I did try using the Cape York water quality examples prior to sending my question but for some reason, the dropdown did not do anything, so I thought that they are still in the process of shifting to the new website so things are still being worked on.
But now they seem to be working fine and I have able to get the information I wanted.
We are trying to implement the filtration system on the mobile shower for a clean disposal method which is a key element for the project.
Thank you once again!
On the topic of filters I believe it is best practise to have at a minimum some type of mesh screen filter to prevent large objects entering the pump and causing damage. These types of filters do not improve the water quality and consequently have little impact on the pumps performance.
I’m wondering if you might be able to shed any insights on a question I’ve been pondering over about the design of a portable shower solution for the Indigenous Rangers program.
It occurred to me that it’s very easy to project a very Western definition of a “shower” onto the Rangers and to assume a traditional ‘stand-under-and-turn-on’ approach in the design.
When I’ve been out bush for prolonged periods of time, it often becomes too much of a hassle to set up and keep clean if you’re frequently on the move. Sometimes a quick wash or wipe to get the important bits and the dirt off of your feet before crawling into a swag was preferred.
This made me think, maybe more of a ‘bird-bath’ or flexible hose in a compact package would be better suited, but I can’t consult the end-users to explore this thinking further.
Do you know if any conversations around this show any merit to that line of thinking, or is the traditional approach to the design of a shower the intended outcome?
We’ve spoken with our contact at CfAT and he’s confirmed that there is a desire for a more Western approach to a shower with a showerhead. Currently when rangers are out on Country they wash using similar methods to the ones you’ve mentioned in your own experience, or in rivers and the sea using a plant-based ‘soap bush’, where the leaves lather up once they are scrunched in water, so there’s a desire for a more traditional mobile shower system.
I’ve linked below a couple of previous discussion forum posts to have a read of (if you haven’t already) which outline some considerations for your mobile shower design.
Again, great to see this line of thinking and I encourage you to continue to apply this critical lens throughout your design process.
Keep up the great work!
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EWB Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them, their cultures and their land; to Elders both past and present; and to emerging leaders. We recognise that the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people never ceded sovereignty of what we call Australia.