Water rates & charges

How water rates are calculated

Water rates reflect the cost of delivering a water supply service. The cost of providing this service to a community with our geography is considerable.

Council takes a water pricing approach that is widely used throughout Australia. It is based on a two-part tariff system that includes a fixed (or “connection charge”) and a usage charge. The connection charge applies to all properties that are eligible to be connected to the water network. The usage charge is based on the amount of water that is consumed.

While it is not necessarily this simple, the fixed charge generally covers the costs of water assets and the consumption charge supports the variable costs to deliver the service such as electricity and chemicals.

The combined charges of both the connection and usage charges cover all costs related to water supply.

Water assets have a total value of over $750 million.

There are currently water supply services in the following areas:

  • Toowoomba bulk water supply. This includes the City of Toowoomba as well as the towns and localities of Bergen, Birnam, Blue Mountain Heights, Cabarlah, Cawdor, Charlton, Coalbank, Cotswold Hills, Crows Nest, Geham, Glenvale, Goombungee, Gowrie Junction, Gowrie Mountain, Grapetree, Hampton, Highfields, Jondaryan, Kingsthorpe, Kleinton, Lilyvale, Meringandan, Meringandan West, Merritts Creek, Oakey, Pechey, Spring Bluff, Torrington, Wellcamp, Westbrook, Woolmer and Wyreema.
  • Non-Toowoomba bulk water supply. This includes a variety of services in Cambooya, Cecil Plains, Clifton, Greenmount, Haden, Hodgson Vale, Kulpi, Millmerran, Nobby, Pittsworth, Vale View and Yarraman.
    Charges for those eligible for the Toowoomba Bulk Water supply scheme are calculated independently of Non-Toowoomba bulk water supply. Ie: there is no cross-subsidisation between these two schemes so each community is charged according to the costs relevant to their scheme.

More information about various charges can be found in Council’s annual Budget documentation. Refer to page 26 of the related document below.

 

Water supply charges

The table below sets out the access and consumption charges for a household with a 20mm diameter meter. For further details about rates applying to other connection sizes and higher consumption values, view the related document below.

Residential

 Non-Toowoomba Bulk Water SupplyToowoomba Bulk Water Supply
Normal water service connection size Access charge First tier maximum consumption limit Access charge First tier maximum consumption limit
20mm $227.60 125kL $312.30 100kL
Tier charge First tier Second tier First tier Second tier
Charge $1.20/kL $2.15/kL $2.44/kL $3.95/kL

 Non Residential

 Non-Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply Toowoomba Bulk Water Supply
Normal water service connection size Access charge First tier maximum consumption limit Access charge First tier maximum consumption limit
20mm $231.76 125kL $318.00 100kL
Tier charge First tier Second tier First tier Second tier
Charge $1.22/kL $2.19/kL $2.48/kL $4.02/kL
Timing of Rates notices
Half yearly Water Rates notices To be sent during October and April
To include – water access charge and water consumption

 

What role does the pipeline from Wivenhoe dam play?

Access to the Wivenhoe Pipeline is part of a 10 year agreement between Council and the State Government to secure a reliable water supply for the region. This agreement governs the use and pricing of the Pipeline through to 2020. This agreement does not have a minimum volume of water required to be used. Council draws water only as is required to supplement other water sources or for the maintenance of the infrastructure. The Pipeline is set to operate once other dam water sources reduce to 40%. Otherwise the operating regime is to operate the pipeline pumps regularly for a short period to turn water over in the pipeline.

At the time it was estimated that this would secure the City’s water supply through to 2051.

Council pays an ongoing fee (a fixed charge) for access to the Wivenhoe Dam water supply. An exception to this was negotiated by Council in the form of a waiver of these fees for the first four years of the agreement (from 2009 to 2013). This fee is set for the term of the agreement at $4.28 million (plus Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustments).

In addition to fixed charges, variable charges are also paid for water used from Wivenhoe Dam. For the term of the agreement these were originally set at $300 per megalitre (plus CPI adjustments).

 

Related document

For further information please refer to Clause 8 Water Utility Charges - 2018/19 of the Special Meeting of Council 22 June 2018 Adoption of the 2018/19 Rate and Charges.

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