The average cost of a residential water bill across the Riverina will rise by $34 a year in 2023-24, under Riverina Water’s draft budget, which is now out for public comment, until Friday 26 May.
The draft budget also lays out plans for the region’s water provider to spend some $78.9 million on capital works over the next four years.
Of that total, Riverina Water plans to spend $14.5 million in 2023-24, including more than $5.7 million on water mains, services and meters and almost $3.5 million on treatment plants, pumping stations and reservoirs.
The details are included in the water provider’s 2023-24 operational plan, with Riverina Water describing the increase to residential water bills as modest compared with previous years, particularly during a time of high cost of living as Australians face massive rises in electricity and gas bills, as well as everyday groceries.
The utility supplies water to areas including Wagga Wagga City Council, Lockhart Shire Council and most of the northern half of both Federal Council and Greater Hume Council areas, except Culcairn in the Greater Hume Council area.
Riverina Water chairman, councillor Tim Koschel, said the proposed increases balanced being financially responsible and keeping water affordable for the community, business and industry.
“Our mission is to provide our community with safe, reliable water at the lowest sustainable cost,” he said.
“Through strategic planning and good financial management, our water charges are continually some of the lowest in the state; in fact, this will be the first increase to our availability charges since 2014/15.
“We understand that the cost of living is rising across all areas, so we are proud that these proposed price changes have been kept to a minimum – an average of 65 cents per week for an average household.”
The water utility also plans to complete the design and planning work on Riverina Water’s solar plant in 2023-24, with the plant expected to save millions in electricity costs in the future.
To view the draft operational plan and make a submission, visit: rwcc.nsw.gov.au/haveyoursay.