9 July 2024

Riverina Water scores high on customer satisfaction despite the cost-of-living squeeze

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Start the conversation
Riverina Water's CEO Andrew Crakanthorp said customers have given the service a thumbs-up.

Riverina Water CEO Andrew Crakanthorp said customers had given the service a thumbs-up. Photo: Chris Roe.

Riverina Water CEO Andrew Crakanthorp says customers across the region remained overwhelmingly positive about the service following the organisation’s latest survey.

The customer satisfaction survey garnered more than 500 responses from across Riverina Water’s supply areas, including Wagga Wagga City, Lockhart Shire and parts of Greater Hume and Federation councils.

While “affordability” was rated lower than other aspects, the survey revealed “very high” satisfaction with water reliability, and all water quality indicators remained at a “high” or “very high” level of satisfaction.

Mr Crakanthorp said listening to the community feedback was important for Riverina Water.

“We take great pride in providing safe and reliable drinking water, and our survey results have been consistently high for several years,” Mr Crakanthorp said.

“It is a clear message from our customers that our staff are going above and beyond to provide great service in all areas.”

For the first time, Riverina Water included the question on affordability and the score of 3.8 out of 5 was the lowest of all the categories.

Mr Crakanthorp said it still indicated a high level of satisfaction and explained that residents should expect only a modest cost increase of around $15 in the 2024/25 financial year.

“We understand that cost of living continues to be a major concern for people across all areas,” he said.

“We are committed to providing our community safe, reliable water at the lowest sustainable cost. Strong strategic planning and financial management have allowed us to keep our water charges among the lowest in the state.

“Our customers can be confident that their water bills are some of the cheapest in the state. NSW Government data in 2022/23 shows that Riverina Water is the ninth lowest based on a typical residential water usage bill and significantly below the national median.”

READ ALSO You can’t beat free local news from Region Riverina

Mr Crakanthorp said the water authority had built a strong foundation as one of the best local water utilities in NSW.

“This year, we also asked new questions to understand customer priorities and our overall performance,” Mr Crakanthorp said.

“Water supply reliability, water quality customer service and affordability were among the biggest priority areas.

“Pleasingly, the satisfaction scores in these areas were strong, either high or very high.”

Mr Crakanthorp acknowledged that the water authority had work to do in some areas of the network, such as water pressure in the villages.

“Our 2022 strategic business plan includes plans to improve water pressure at The Rock and Lockhart in the coming years,” he said.

“We will continue to actively listen to our customers’ concerns and queries and provide the best outcomes for all. We thank our customers for your important feedback, and on behalf of the board, I thank our staff for their work over the past 12 months.”

Mr Crakanthorp revealed the critical challenges in maintaining high water supply reliability and quality standards.

“Key challenges include attracting and retaining our highly skilled staff and, in some cases, growing our future workforce,” he said. “Also ensuring that as the population within our supply area grows, we are also increasing our town water entitlements via an effective working relationship with the NSW Government.”

In 2024-25, Riverina Water will invest $15.6 million in capital works, including more than $5.4 million in water mains, services, and meters and almost $4.7 million in treatment plants, pumping stations, and reservoirs.

READ ALSO Man charged over alleged Ashmont assault

2024 Customer Satisfaction Survey
All scores are averages out of 5. Scores greater than 3.75 are rated high satisfaction, and scores greater than 4.5 are rated as very high satisfaction.

What’s most important to you?
– Water supply reliability
– Water quality
– Efficient and reliable customer service
– Water affordability.

How did Riverina Water perform
Overall trust in Riverina Water – 4.30
Reputation as a service provider- 4.30
Water affordability – 3.80.

Water quality indicators
Reliability- 4.65
Clarity – 4.25
Taste – 4.06
Smell – 4.18
Pressure – 4.06.

Customer service indicators
Overall satisfaction – 4.54
Meeting needs on first contact – 4.67
Handling with accuracy – 4.71
Contact was dealt with quickly – 4.65
Staff skill and knowledge – 4.69
Friendly and caring service – 4.70.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.