Water utilities

Our department, along with other local water utility regulators, oversees and supports local water utilities in their delivery of water supply and sewerage services.

Every local water utility faces unique challenges and risks. By working in partnership with regulators and the wider sector, local water utilities can manage risks and priorities in urban water systems more strategically and effectively. This will reduce the risks to regional NSW communities over time.

Our vision for the local water utility sector, shared by all sector stakeholders is:

Safe, secure, sustainable and affordable water and sewerage services for healthy and resilient communities, businesses and the environment, now and into the future.

The local water utility sector includes local water utilities, the department, other regulators, industry associations, the private sector, and other interested stakeholders.

The sector objectives are to continue to ensure:

  • safe and secure drinking water supply to protect public health and the environment, and to support economic development and liveability
  • effective sewerage services to protect public health and the environment, and to support economic development and liveability
  • services that meet customer and community needs, expectations, and preferences
  • financially sustainable water utilities with efficient and affordable pricing for services.

The department is responsible for overseeing local water utilities in their delivery of safe, secure, sustainable, and affordable services and management of water service risks. The department may engage with local water utilities in a variety of different capacities. These roles include:

  • setting of statewide policy, and state and regional strategies
  • giving advice
  • providing regulation and assurance
  • funding.

The department performs these roles to ensure local water utilities are managing potential areas of risk appropriately.

Figure 1. The roles of the department.

Water utilities – roles of the department chart

These 4 roles operate in a distinct manner, but will naturally interact and intersect.

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    Local water utilities

    View all the local government councils exercising water supply and sewerage functions under the Local Government Act.

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    Local water utility performance monitoring

    An essential management dashboard used to show the performance of local water utility across regional NSW.

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    Regulation and assurance framework for local water utilities

    Our regulatory framework for the effective and efficient delivery of water supply and sewerage services including sustainable water conservation.

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    Regulatory assessments

    Obtain approvals for proposed water treatment works, recycled water works, sewerage works, biosolids management and obtain concurrence to council’s trade waste approvals.

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    Training courses

    Offers training courses in water, wastewater and liquid trade waste regulation to assist local water utilities in regional NSW.

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    Technical assistance

    Expert strategic advice and technical support for local water utilities and other stakeholders.

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    Local water utility licensing assistance

    The NSW government has updated the way local water utility licences are used.

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    Water and sewerage infrastructure programs

    We administer and implement co-funding programs to assist in the delivery of water and sewerage infrastructure in regional NSW.