The maintenance of connections to traditional clan lands, or country, is synonymous with the continuation of Indigenous cultural practices across Australia. The most basic need for human inhabitation on these lands is access to safe and potable drinking water. Although access to safe drinking water is a basic human right, many remote Indigenous homeland and outstation communities, which are located on country, remain at risk to detrimental water related health impacts. Some states have reported fewer than 19% of homeland community water sources that meet microbial and chemical compliance standards. This is the result of a range of compounding institutional, infrastructural and biophysical factors which obfuscate water resource management approaches and servicing outcomes. Using a socio-ecological research approach, this paper discusses the historical policy settings, data collection, system and infrastructure conditions that have contributed to poor access to and availability of safe drinking water on homelands. We discuss the implications of these outcomes for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving universal access to safe drinking water by 2030.