Warn­ings on wa­ter price pain

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - TOM MINEAR

HOUSE­HOLD wa­ter bills will fol­low sky­rock­et­ing en­ergy costs and dou­ble by 2040 with­out a na­tional ap­proach to up­grad­ing our pipes and dams.

Alarm­ing mod­el­ling by In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia shows the average fam­ily, which cur­rently spends $1226 on wa­ter, are faced with their bills soar­ing by $600 in a decade.

The average house­hold bill would hit $2553 in to­day’s dol­lars by 2040 un­less gov­ern­ments com­mit to ma­jor re­forms, in­clud­ing cre­ation of a na­tional wa­ter body that uses in­cen­tive pay­ments to im­prove age­ing wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture.

In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia’s ur­ban wa­ter re­port, re­leased to­day, says the na­tion has to act now to deal with fu­ture chal­lenges in­clud­ing pop­u­la­tion growth and cli­mate change, and make sure we have a se­cure and af­ford­able sup­ply of wa­ter.

“Un­less we act now, we will soon start to ex­pe­ri­ence ris­ing wa­ter bills, high taxes or a de­cline in service qual­ity,” In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia chief Philip Davies said.

The re­port ar­gues that if na­tion­ally con­sis­tent pric­ing and gover­nance re­forms can be achieved, then gov­ern­ments should con­sider sell­ing off pub­licly owned wa­ter as­sets to pri­vate com­pa­nies.

Aus­tralians use more wa­ter per capita than any other coun­try, In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia found, sug­gest­ing more could be done to change the be­hav­iour of con­sumers.

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