Planning for 2024-28

Planning for 2024-28

Every four years, feedback from our customers helps inform our investment proposal submitted to the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA).

We are now planning for proposed investments in 2024-28.

Our proposal will outline the revenue required to operate and invest in our business to deliver the services our customers value and expect.

In addition to incorporating customer feedback, our proposal will outline the investment required to meet all our regulated responsibilities including health, safety and environmental.

ESCOSA reviews our proposal and provides a determination which establishes the customer outcomes we need to deliver and the allowable revenue we can recover from our customers. We then set prices each year to achieve the allowable revenue across each four-year regulatory period.

Involving our customers

A comprehensive research and engagement program ensures customers provide input throughout the planning process and proposal development. This includes opportunities for broad customer engagement, as well as in-depth customer involvement through our Customer Challenge Group and Peak Bodies Engagement Forum.

Customer research and insights

Customer Challenge Group

Formed in October 2021, the Customer Challenge Group is made up of 11 people who represent a cross-section of our customers. They are working closely with us to understand our business and the proposals we are preparing. The group is empowered to challenge us through the planning process to ensure our proposal is robust and represents what our customers value and expect from us.

Peak Bodies Engagement Forum

This forum ensures we are working effectively and consistently with key industry and community representative groups. See the full list of representatives at Water Talks.

Our customer research summary can be viewed here.

Themes for 2024-28 planning

As we prepare our proposal for 2024-28, there are 5 themes on which we will seek customer input and feedback to help shape how we will respond to challenges in these areas.

1. Delivering reliable water services to you

Much of our infrastructure can last more than 100 years and services multiple generations. As well as our water and sewerage networks expanding to service new suburbs, we continue to renew older existing assets each year.

To ensure the South Australian community thrives and has a sustainable future, we will prioritise investments that reduce long-term costs and service issues in the years to come. We know customers expect reliable water services and we are already looking for new and innovative ways to adapt and deliver.

As we plan for 2024-28, the challenges to delivering reliable water services include:

  • balancing investments now and into the future to ensure cost and risks are understood and balanced with affordability for our customers
  • keeping intergenerational customer bills as low and stable as possible while investing to renew our infrastructure assets to ensure reliable water and wastewater services
  • managing extreme climate conditions, particularly in regional and remote areas of South Australia
  • treating water in regional locations to ensure safety and quality.

Visit Water Talks to learn about this theme and our proposed investments to address these challenges.

2. Improving your customer experience with us

For many customers, receiving and paying their bill is often the only direct interaction they have with us. Yet we serve many more people than just those who pay a bill. When considering the customer experience we provide, we look at how we serve the broader community, future customers and visitors to South Australia, who all rely on us to provide reliable water services.

As we plan for 2024-28, the challenges to improving your customer experience with us include:

  • understanding our customers and what they need, including tenants, people with specific communication needs or medical requirements, and people who live with a disability, speak languages other than English, or have critical business requirements related to water services
  • understanding how technology can improve customer service through more personalised understanding of water use
  • linking our systems to ensure a seamless customer experience with all parts of our business
  • attending to faults and serving regional customers in a timely manner during supply interruptions due to factors including the travel distances required and climatic conditions.

Visit Water Talks to learn about this theme and our proposed investments to address these challenges.

3. Ensuring water security into the future

As our climate changes and demand for water increases, effective water security planning will help us prepare for future climate risks and make the most of all available sources of water.

Water security is central to the growth and prosperity of South Australia. It means having water for the long-term to ensure thriving communities, a healthy environment, and strong industry and agriculture now and into the future.

As we plan for 2024-28, the challenges to ensuring water security into the future include:

  • the ability of current water resources to meet increased demand for water to support population, agriculture and industry growth
  • climate change impacts resulting in reduced water availability in many regions.
  • significant investments in new water sources to meet future needs
  • fairly and efficiently sharing available water resources
  • access to and use of recycled water.

Visit Water Talks to learn about this theme and our proposed investments to address these challenges.

4. Providing equitable and affordable services

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we want our services to be affordable, accessible, equitable and inclusive. We work to keep operational costs down and when customers have difficulty paying their bills, we will be here to support them. This must be balanced with investing in our network and making the right investments at the right time to keep our services both reliable and affordable now and into the future.

As we plan for 2024-28, the challenges for providing equitable and affordable services include:

  • bill and affordability impacts of our proposed areas for investment
  • helping customers on low and fixed incomes who may need extra support in meeting their bill payments
  • ensuring intergenerational equity by considering what our young people will have to pay for in the future
  • improving communication and relationships with vulnerable customers and communities.

Visit Water Talks to learn about this theme and our proposed investments to address these challenges.

5. Being a leader in environmental and sustainable practices

As the climate changes, we must respond and adapt. To become a leader in environmental management, we will act to build our climate change resilience, reduce waste, and increase by-product reuse. This is part of our approach to ensuring our business, our water services and our environment are sustainable and secure for generations to come.

As we plan for 2024-28, the challenges for being a leader in environmental and sustainable practices include:

  • the need for innovation and exploring new ways to deliver our services as the climate changes
  • reducing our emissions to help combat the changing climate while continuing to supply reliable water services, which are energy intensive
  • reducing our waste and looking for ways to avoid it in the first place, in addition to recycling and reusing
  • protecting and enhancing native vegetation, habitat and biodiversity which are threatened by climate change, population growth and changes in land use.

Visit Water Talks to learn about our proposed areas for investment to address these challenges.

Other areas for investment

There are a number of areas we must invest in to meet our regulated responsibilities including health, safety and environmental.

This includes ensuring our working environment is safe for our people, customers and community; providing safe, clean drinking water; and ensuring reliable wastewater services that minimise impacts to the environment. We do not seek customer input on investments we must make to meet our various legislated and regulated responsibilities.

Our legislated responsibilities guide our operations and include:

  • Water Industry Act 2012
  • Safe Drinking Water Act 2011
  • South Australian Public Health Act 2011
  • Work, Health and Safety Act 2012.

We have several key regulators:

  • the Essential Services Commission of South Australia
  • SA Health
  • the Office of the Technical Regulator
  • the Environment Protection Authority
  • the Department for Environment and Water.

You can read more about these regulators and how they guide our operations at Water Talks.

Process and timeline

RD25 timeline

Get involved and stay informed

Head to Water Talks and register to receive updates about when we are seeking customer and community input to inform our proposal.