NSW Best-Practice Management (BPM) of Water Supply and Sewerage Framework
Each Water Utility needs to closely involve its community in the utility’s implementation of the nineteen (19) outcomes required by the NSW Best Practice Management Framework. The 19 outcomes are as follows.
1 & 2 – IWCM Strategy and Financial Plan for Water Supply and Sewerage
Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) is the integrated management of the water supply, sewerage and stormwater services within the catchments. IWCM Strategy identifies the issues in the above areas and look at ways of managing them. The IWCM Strategy and Financial Plan also includes a 30-year Financial Plan. All Water Utilities in NSW are required to have an IWCM and Financial Plan for water supply and sewerage as part of the Best-Practice Management.
3 & 4 – Strategic Business Plan for Water Supply and Sewerage
All Water Utilities in NSW are required to have a current Strategic Business Plan (SBP) and financial plan for water supply and sewerage as part of the Best-Practice Management. A current SBP is one which has been prepared or updated within the last 3 years. Current SBP includes operating environment review, an asset management plan (operation, maintenance, capital works), key performance indicators, a customer service plan, levels of service and a human resources plan.
5 – Water Conservation Measures
All Water Utilities in NSW are required to have a sound water conservation and demand management in place as part of the Best-Practice Management. Water Conservation Measures (WCM) shall include demand monitoring, leakage measurement & reduction and community education.
6 – Drought Management Plan
The BPM guidelines require Water Utilities in NSW to have a comprehensive drought management plan which details the demand and supply issues to be addressed during drought conditions and includes adoption of a schedule of trigger points for the timely implementation of appropriate water restrictions. Appropriate drought management planning will ensure that town water supplies with significant storage do not fail in times of drought.
7 & 8 – Performance Monitoring – Water supply and Sewerage
Annual performance reporting and monitoring are required under the Australian Government’s National Competition Policy and National Water Initiative. Performance monitoring provides valuable data for enabling a Local Water Utility to review and improve its performance by examining trends in its performance indicators and to benchmark its performance against that of similar Utilities.
9 & 10 – Full Cost Recovery for Water Supply and Sewerage
All Water Utilities in NSW are required to achieve full cost-recovery for each of water supply and sewerage businesses as part of the Best-Practice Management. This will raise the required income to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the water supply and sewerage businesses.
11, 12, 13 & 14 – Appropriate Residential Charges for Water Supply and Sewerage & Appropriate Non – Residential Charges for Water Supply and Sewerage
Best-practice water supply and sewerage pricing requires transparent tariff structures and price levels with the following requirements.
- Recovering efficient costs of service provision, including an appropriate return on infrastructure capital
- Providing appropriate signals to customers about the cost consequences of their service demands, in order to encourage efficient use of resources (both environmental and financial) associated with service provision
- Implementing appropriate tariffs without significant cross-subsidies
- Sewerage pricing to involve a uniform annual sewerage bill for residential customers and for non-residential customers an appropriate sewer usage charge is required for the estimated volume discharged to the sewerage system, together with an access charge based on the capacity requirements that their loads place on the system relative to residential customers
15 & 16 – Development Servicing Plan (DSP) with commercial developer charges for Water Supply and Sewerage
According to Best Practice Management guidelines Water Utilities need to prepare a Development Servicing Plan with commercial water supply and sewerage developer charges in accordance with Developer Charges Guidelines for Water Supply & Sewerage. Developer charges are up-front charges levied to recover part of the infrastructure costs incurred in servicing new development or changes to existing development.
17 – Strong pricing signals, with at least 75% of residential revenue from water usage charges
Water Utilities levy a water access charge and a water usage from its residential customers. As per the BPM guidelines Water Utilities with 4,000 or more connected properties shall have at least 75% of residential revenue generated through usage charges.
18 & 19 – Appropriate trade waste regulation policy & approvals, and appropriate trade waste fees and charges.
Best-practice liquid trade waste pricing requires appropriate annual trade waste fees and re-inspection fees for all liquid trade waste dischargers. These fees are in addition to the non-residential sewerage bill.