The National Water Commission (NWC) has released two reports into the industry’s operation in the 2011-12 year, detailing sustained improvements in water quality, delivery efficiency and water conservation.

“The urban report tells us that 94% of urban water utilities reported 100% compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines or licence conditions, 10% above last year’s report. This demonstrates that Australian water standards continue to be world-class,” Parliamentary Secretary for Urban Water Senator Don Farrell said.

“The rural report shows that delivery efficiency remains at a record high of 83%, reflecting gains from investment in channel lining, network reconfigurations, and better metering and technology.”

Commission Chair, Karlene Maywald, said it was particularly pleasing to see the continuing trend in water conservation.

“Notwithstanding population growth, Australia’s urban areas are using significantly less water now than when these national reports were first produced seven years ago. Despite expanding urban boundaries, city-dwellers are using eight per cent less than they were in 2005-06,” Ms Maywald said.

“Recycled water supply has also increased by four per cent, further indicating that a focus on recycled water as an alternative supply is becoming more attractive and is yet another option for governments and water utilities looking to diversity their water sources.”

These reports are produced each year to annually benchmark pricing and service quality – and to do so independently and publicly.

The urban report provides data from 80 reporting utilities servicing 83% of the Australian population and is prepared by the National Water Commission, all state and territory governments, and the Water Services Association of Australia. The rural report covers 11 rural water service providers and is produced in conjunction with state governments.

 The annual report can be found here