The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) rural valleys bulk water and Water Administration Ministerial Corporation (WAMC) determinations have been handed down, with the four-year determinations coming effect from 1 October 2021.
WaterNSW has welcomed the determinations, having worked with customers and IPART since the draft determination in March 2021, to incorporate price reductions – including lower costs associated with implementing the NSW Government’s non-urban metering policy.
WaterNSW CEO, Andrew George, said that WaterNSW fully supports the implementation of the government-led metering reform, which is in response to a number of independent and government inquiries into improving management of the state’s water sector.
“In its submission WaterNSW sought sufficient funding to effectively perform our role in implementing the non-urban metering policy, as one of the key foundations of the reform activity taking place across the water sector in recent years,” Mr George said.
IPART’s decision for WaterNSW’s rural bulk water charges results in an average increase of 30 per cent in prices across 12 valleys and Fish River.
IPART’s decision for WAMC water management charges results in prices capped at 2.5 per cent excluding inflation, for each of the next four years, and average cost increases for licence holders on regulated water sources of 16 per cent, eight per cent for unregulated licence holders and three per cent for groundwater licence holders.
IPART has also approved new prices for the costs of implementing the NSW Government’s non-urban metering reform program.
WaterNSW’s costs have been influenced by factors such as drought, including the delivery of emergency infrastructure in some valleys, ongoing investment in dam safety upgrades, along with implementing significant long-term water sector reforms.
“WaterNSW’s overall costs have been greatly influenced by these reforms and our role in implementing them, through the need for expanded IT capability, our involvement in supporting increased compliance functions and ensuring our extensive asset base is fit for this new operating environment,” Mr George said.
“WaterNSW works with our customers to ensure that our operations meet their needs and drives continuous improvement as efficiently as possible to minimise costs.”