Effective governance

Effective governance


SA Water was established as a Public Corporation on 1 July 1995 under the South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994.

SA Water’s operations are guided by legislation, the most significant include:  

  • South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994
  • Public Corporations Act 1993
  • Water Industry Act 2012
  • Safe Drinking Water Act 2011
  • South Australian Public Health Act 2011
  • Work, Health and Safety Act 2012
  • Environment Protection Act 1993
  • Natural Resources Management Act 2004

Key regulators

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) is the independent economic regulator for the water industry. It sets service standards and revenue levels for water and sewerage services provided by SA Water.

SA Health sets and monitors standards for drinking water quality and regulates recycled water use in the state.

The Office of the Technical Regulator sets standards and requirements for water and sewerage infrastructure, and the operation of that infrastructure, to ensure public safety.

The EPA sets standards for acceptable discharge from SA Water’s used water treatment facilities and monitors SA Water’s operations and activities to minimise impact on the environment.

DEWNR regulates access to natural water sources, protects water catchments and native vegetation and is the state body responsible for the River Murray as part of the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Board

Under the South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994 the Board of directors governs SA Water on behalf of the State Government and reports to the Minister for Water and the River Murray.

The Board sets the strategic direction for SA Water and monitors the Corporation’s performance, securing continual improvement and protecting the long-term viability of SA Water and government financial interests.

The following Board members were appointed by the Governor of South Australia:

  • Lewis Owens (chair to 30 June 2017)
  • Sybella Blencowe
  • Sue Filby
  • Ian Stirling
  • Hon. Carolyn Pickles
  • Hon. Karlene Maywald
  • Roch Cheroux.

Operational management of SA Water is delegated by the Board through the Chief Executive to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).  

Pursuant to section 18 of the South Australian Water Corporation Act 1994, the Minister has delegated authority to the Board of SA Water to approve expenditure up to $4 million on any one project.

Pursuant to section 12 of the Public Corporations Act 1993, a charter was prepared by the Minister and the Treasurer, in consultation with the Board. It guides the Board in seeking to balance community service with prudent commercial principles. The annual review of the charter was conducted with no changes made.

Directors' interests and benefits

For 2016-17, no director had an interest in any contract or proposed contract with SA Water, other than contracts in the ordinary course of business.  

No benefits were received by any director of SA Water by virtue of a contract that was made with SA Water, other than in normal course of business as set out in the financial statements.

Board committees

The SA Water Board established a Committee structure to assist the Board in meeting its responsibilities. Each committee has a charter that guides its functions and duties and is reviewed annually.

Policy and Strategy Committee – assists the Board’s oversight of the long-term strategy of the Corporation to ensure that it remains a valuable, relevant and effective water and sewerage service provider with high levels of customer, community and stakeholder service and support.

People and Culture Committee – supports and assists the Board on matters associated with the planning, remuneration and culture of the Corporation’s workforce, taking into account the corporation’s strategic plan, government policy, relevant Board policies, business needs and regulatory requirements.

Governance, Finance and Risk Committee – supports and assists the Board in fulfilling its corporate governance and oversight responsibilities in relation to SA Water’s financial planning and reporting, internal control processes, risk management systems, legal compliance, fraud and the internal and external audit functions.

Board attendance

During 2016-17 directors attended meetings of the Board and the following Committees:

  • Policy and Strategy Committee
  • People and Culture Committee
  • Governance, Finance and Risk Committee.

The number of meetings attended by each of the directors is shown in a table found on page 44 of PDF version of the annual report