Local Water Utilities
In regional NSW, councils provide water supply and sewerage services to local communities. There are currently over 100 council owned and operated local water utilities (LWUs) providing these services to over 1.8 million people. This is a significant responsibility, ensuring water supply security through infrastructure provision, demand management and integrated water cycle management.
Best Practice and Performance Monitoring
Under the NSW Office of Water’s Best Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Guidelines 2007, local water utilities are required to achieve best practice including the determination of service and pricing levels based on long term strategic business planning and full cost recovery principles.
Local water utilities provide high quality urban water services and are subject to the most stingent performance measurement framework set by the NSW Office of Water's Best Practice Management Guidelines and Performance Reporting. Local water utilities:
- Operate at best practice level including implementing long term strategic business planning and full cost recovery and meeting high drinking water quality standards under the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
- Have instigated institutional reform including the development and implementation of regional alliances to share resources, undertake regional water resource planning, and deliver regional water supply infrastructure.
- Make significant progress in implementing drinking water quality risk management frameworks in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
- Manage the water cycle in an integrated way and deliver water sensitive urban design by coordinating their water supply, sewerage, stormwater management and land use planning functions.
Performance reports can be accessed on the NSW Office of Water’s website.
Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program
The NSW Government’s Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program provides capital funding to local water utilities for water supply and sewerage infrastructure projects. The program has been in operation since 1994 with a re-prioritisation of projects in 2004 based on 1996 backlog needs.
The total funding commitment for the program exceeds $1.2 billion. As of mid-2011, $973 million was spent completing more than 460 water supply and sewerage projects. The program is scheduled to run until 2016-17.
The NSW Office of Water has more information on the Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program.
Other LGNSW Submissions Relating to Local Water Utilities
- LGSA, Submission to Productivity Commission Draft Report of Inquiry into Australia's Urban Water Sector, (2011) (PDF, 108KB).
- LGSA, Supplementary Submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry into Australia's Urban Water Sector, (2011) (PDF, 150KB).
- LGSA, Submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry into Australia's Urban Water Sector, (2010) (PDF, 192KB).