Reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Aucklanders set to pay more for water

Auckland Council-owned company Watercare announced today that the price of water and wastewater services would increase by 2.5 per cent. Photo / iStock
Auckland Council-owned company Watercare announced today that the price of water and wastewater services would increase by 2.5 per cent. Photo / iStock

Aucklanders will be paying more for their water from July, equating on average to an extra $21 per household each year.

Auckland Council-owned company Watercare announced today that the price of water and wastewater services would increase by 2.5 per cent to cover the increasing cost of providing the service.

An average household's combined water and wastewater charges will increase by about $1.75 a month from July 1 -- to $1.44 per 1000 litres.

Fixed wastewater charges for domestic customers will rise by $5 to $205 per year and to $2.45 per 1000 litres of wastewater discharged.

Wastewater charges for non-domestic customers will increase by an average of 2.5 per cent.

The infrastructure growth charge (IGC) -- a fee applied to all new developments connecting to Watercare's networks -- will increase by 2.5 per cent to $12,673 for the metropolitan area.

IGC charges in other areas will also increase by 2.5 per cent.

Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram said the company remained committed to being a minimum-cost service provider, and the increases would cover service delivery costs, infrastructure renewal and expansion.

He said Auckland's population was predicted to grow by 1 million people in the next 30 years and the company has forecasted a $4.9 billion spend on capital investment over the next 10 years to support this growth.

"This investment will ensure our water and wastewater networks have sufficient capacity to cope with the increasing demand for water and wastewater services."

The company does not operate to make a profit or pay a dividend to Auckland Council.

Mr Jaduram said construction costs in particular had increased at a rate "much higher" than costs measured in the consumer price index, which increased by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

Every day, Watercare supplies 326 million litres of drinking water to 1.4 million people across Auckland, and treats 400 million litres of wastewater.

The price increase comes after last week's proposed changes to the Transmission Pricing Methodology guidelines was announced by the Electricity Authority.

On May 17 the authority released proposed changes that could see Aucklanders facing an extra $58 to $66 per household, per year on their electricity bill.

Vector has done its own calculations, and came to the higher figure of $97 per year, per household.

Watercare price increases

• Water prices will increase from $1.409 to $1.444 per 1000 litres for all customers.
• Fixed wastewater charges for domestic customers will rise by $5 to $205 per year and from $2.394 to $2.454 per 1000L of wastewater discharged.
• Wastewater charges for non-domestic customers will increase by an average of 2.5 per cent.
• The infrastructure growth charge (IGC) for the metropolitan area will increase by 2.5 per cent to $12,673.
• For stand-alone non-metropolitan networks where past and future investments are specific to each network, the charges also increase by 2.5 per cent.

- NZ Herald

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