SA Water is continuing to achieve positive outcomes in water network management and customer service, with some room to improve in other areas, according to an independent annual report released this week on Australia’s water organisations.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s National Performance Report (NPR) 2019-20: urban water utilities analyses the performance of 80 utilities, councils and bulk water authorities across the country, including SA Water.
The report shows SA Water performed favourably amongst its peers – the larger utilities with 100,000 or more customers – particularly with a reduction in the number of water main leaks and breaks, from 15 per 100 kilometres of main in 2018-19 to 13.5 last financial year, which is far lower than the national average of 22.3.
This positive result continued to be reflected in SA Water’s own reporting for the last calendar year, with a 12 per cent reduction in the number of water main incidents compared to 2019. The decrease is typical of more favourable weather conditions and buoyed by continued strong investment by SA Water in water main management.
|Measure||Result||Change from 2018-19 (%)||Ranking/15 (lower better)|
|Total complaints, water and sewerage (per 1000 properties)||2||0.0||3|
|Percentage of calls answered by an operator within 30 seconds||86.2%||+0.3||2/13|
|Annual combined water and sewerage bill (based on 200 kilolitres)||$1,313||-0.4||10|
|Water main breaks and leaks (per 100 kilometres of main)||13.5||-10.0||6|
|Sewerage main breaks and chokes (per 100 kilometres of main)||48||+4.3||12|
|Average duration of unplanned water interruption (minutes)||203||-15.6||15|
|Total net greenhouse gas emissions (net tonnes CO2 equivalents per 1000 connected water properties)||346||-18.8||13|
|Total recycled water supplied (megalitres)||26,400||-18.3||2|
The utility also saw a decrease in the annual combined water and sewerage bill, with a further improved result expected in the 2020-21 NPR, taking into consideration the price reductions delivered to customers from 1 July 2020.
Additionally, SA Water’s General Manager of Strategy, Engagement and Innovation Anna Jackson said it was pleasing to be among the major water utilities receiving the least customer complaints, with two per 1000 properties in 2019-20.
“We pride ourselves in delivering outcomes which meet our customers’ needs, including ensuring they continue to receive safe and reliable water and sewer services,” Anna said.
“When a fault or incident occurs that prevents this from being achieved, we still want to be able to support those affected and put actions in place to reduce the potential for it to happen again.
“One area where we are continually looking to improve is unplanned water outages. Although the average duration for a water supply disruption in our network was down nearly 16 per cent compared to the previous year, we want to do better.
“Another highlight for us in 2019-20, was attaining the highest percentage decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, at nearly 19 per cent.
“In working towards a zero cost energy future, we aim to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 89,000 tonnes per year, primarily through increased use of renewable energy to sustainably reduce both our environmental impact and operational expenses.”
Across the country, there was an increased reliance on desalination to supply water to major urban centres, with all capital cities operating desalination plants reporting a significant increase in production compared to 2018-19.
While desalination always forms an important part of SA Water’s drinking water supply mix, the main driver behind the significant increase in 2019-20 was the Adelaide Desalination Plant’s 40 gigalitre contribution to the State and Federal Government’s national drought relief measure.
For media enquiries, please call or email SA Water’s media team:
Phone: (08) 7424 2477
Mobile: 0477 300 197 (24/7)
For all other SA Water-related enquiries, please call our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283).