Review of funding models for local water utilities

At the request of the Minister for Water, the NSW Productivity Commission is investigating alternative funding arrangements for local water utilities (LWUs).

Across New South Wales (NSW), almost 90 local water utilities (LWUs) provide water and sewerage services to more than 1.8 million people in regional and remote communities.

The delivery of water and wastewater services in regional and remote NSW is challenging. Around 20% of the water supply systems in regional and remote NSW are assessed as having high infrastructure-related water quality risk, with over 590,000 people at potential increased risk from water-borne pathogens.

LWUs need a funding system that is fair, efficient, and meets the needs of regional and remote communities, while acknowledging different utilities require different levels of support.

Providing feedback on the Issues Paper

To inform this review, the Productivity Commission has released an Issues Paper that considers challenges from the current funding models, funding model principles, minimum service levels and alternative funding options.

We want meaningful community discussion about why reform is needed, the critical challenges faced by regional communities, alternative funding options, and ways to improve regional collaboration. We are releasing this Issues Paper to enable community input into the Commission’s review of potential funding models for local water utilities.

The release of the Issues Paper will be followed by consultations with councils, local water utilities, joint organisations of councils, industry groups, NSW Government agencies, and the community. This will include public submissions and feedback, planned visits to Dubbo, Ballina, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth and Queanbeyan, and a range of online roundtables, workshops, and meetings.

Please email [email protected] with any feedback or if you have any questions about the review.

The Commission encourages interested parties to make written submissions by 28 March 2024 by emailing [email protected].

Submissions may be published on the Commission website unless accompanied by a request for confidentiality.

Privacy notice:

The information you provide is collected for the purpose of receiving public submissions on the Issues Paper relating to the Local Water Utilities Funding Models Review.

Your submissions will inform the development of a report that will be submitted to the Minister for Water by June 2024. A final review report containing your submission may be published in the future.

Submissions may be published on the Commission website unless accompanied by a request for confidentiality. If you would like your submission to be confidential, anonymous or redacted in any way, please request this via email at [email protected]

Providing us with the requested information is not required by law. You may request access to your information at any time. To access or update your personal information, or for more information on our privacy obligations, please email [email protected]