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Water Utilities


Sanjiv Sathiah
Senior Policy Officer, Infrastructure and Finance

Phone: 9242 4073 

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NSW councils are responsible for providing water and sewerage services to more than 1.8 million people in NSW outside the areas covered by the Sydney and Hunter water corporations. These services are provided by council owned local water utilities (LWUs).

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) provides support and advice to member councils on government water policy and industry best practice, as well as representing the views of members to the state and federal governments and other key stakeholders.

We also hold an annual Water Management Conference, which provides members with information on specific issues relating to water management and water utilities.

LGNSW strongly advocates for local government ownership and control of LWUs and has resisted threats by successive NSW Governments to consolidate, corporatise and privatise LWUs. LGNSW supports voluntary regional alliances of LWUs.

Council-owned local water utilities

There are about 90 council-owned and operated local water utilities (LWUs) in NSW, providing water supply and sewerage services to more than 1.8 million people. These LWUs ensure water supply security through infrastructure provision, demand management, and integrated water cycle management.

Under the NSW Office of Water’s Best Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Guidelines 2007, LWUs are required to:

  • Operate at best practice, including implementing long-term strategic business planning and full cost recovery, and meet the quality standards set out in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
  • Instigate reform, including the development of regional alliances to share resources, undertake regional water resource planning, and deliver regional water supply infrastructure.
  • Implement drinking water quality risk management frameworks in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
  • Deliver water-sensitive urban design and manage the water cycle in an integrated way by coordinating water supply, sewerage, stormwater management, and land use planning functions.

Performance reports can be accessed on the NSW Office of Water’s website.