Business Daily Media


Average Water Bills In Canberra

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You might feel as if your water bills are getting out of hand with the most recent water cost hike showing on water bills in Canberra this quarter.

New rates were introduced by the ACT’s water supplier Icon Water which shows an increase in water supply charges and sewage removal changes. The costs for water supply and sewage are fixed and the annual price is broken down to cover the number of days your bill covers (usually in a three-month cycle). Most of these costs will be felt by homeowners and investors as renters typically aren’t obligated to pay fees for water or sewage usage supply, just the water they actually use.

Water usage prices are flexible depending on how much water you consume. This is where everyone, including renters, have some control over bills as it’s possible to change your water use habits to bring down prices.

Water Cost Components

The biggest components in water prices are maintaining water and sewage quality and the infrastructure and resources that are needed to achieve that. There are multiple costs involved in fulfilling this standard including staff wages, chemical treatment costs, power costs as well as repairs and upgrades to dams and reservoir engineering facilities.

Consumer needs are taken into consideration as well. For example, there was an additional planned charge increase during 2021-22, but that was put on hold due to the financial strain on families during COVID-19, even though the pandemic did impact water service delivery costs.

Climate change is also a big component of water prices. Water demand and supply are highly influenced by the weather, with climate change already being seen in current extreme weather events and irregular weather patterns.

The surrounding result: more frequent drought, bushfires, storms and long periods of wet weather, have caused disruptions to regular water catchment and supply. New prices set by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) take these uncertainties into account and anticipate them in future price forecasts, including revenue for maintaining water security and climate resilience.

Average Water Costs

While the rates for water and sewage supply by Icon Water continue to go up, there is some good news with the water usage; even with the newly raised 2022- 2023 prices and the anticipated 2023-2024 increase, the rates for water usage are still below that of prices paid during 2021.

Table showing Icon Water water usage rate changes over three years (2021- 2023).

ACT Water Usage Tariffs




Tier 1 (up to 50 kL per quarter)




Tier 2 (every kL in excess

of 50 kL)




Tips for Reducing Your Bills

When you receive a water bill in Canberra it provides a graph showing the households average water consumption compared to previous bills. This is a great way to keep track of water-saving efforts and continue to save water and reduce costs.

You can continue to save water by:

  • - Using the eco cycles on your washing machine and dishwasher

  • Using rainwater to wash the car, provide water to pets and water the garden

  • Changing to eco shower heads and fixtures that add air to water to give a luxurious feel without the large water volumes

  • Fixing dripping taps

  • Setting a timer for showers and limiting showers to one per person per day

It is possible to control your water costs in Canberra even as prices by Icon Water increase.

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