National Water Commission call for a rethink on water pricing and regulation

The National Water Commission (NWC) is calling for water pricing options to encourage competition, innovation, and sustainable water use as well as allow for customer choice. Last month the commission released four reports examining pricing and competition in the urban water sector.

The NWC also released a Future Directions report calling on the Council of Australian Governments to provide leadership in urban water management.  The report offers recommendations on service provision, pricing, planning, water quality, competition, customer & community satisfaction, water quality & wastewater discharge.

The Future Directions Report urges federal and state governments to provide incentives to the water industry to encourage utilities to invest in treatment of water, wastewater and stormwater.  The report highlights that water utilities need less intervention to provide the freedom to innovate and develop cost-effective, fit for purpose services. The NWC says a greater clarity is needed around the ‘water industry’s role in creating more livable cities, and who should pay for the broader community and environmental benefits’.