Prices for water and wastewater services in Auckland will increase by 7 per cent from 1 July 2021.
Watercare chief executive Jon Lamonte says the company will soon publish its latest Asset Management Plan detailing how it will invest an average of $2.5 million every day for the next 20 years.
“An incredible amount of work goes into providing top quality drinking water and treating the city’s wastewater so it can be safely returned to the environment.
“Our Asset Management Plan recognises that a higher level of investment is needed to support our growing city in a climate-resilient way.”
The price path for water and wastewater services, as well as infrastructure growth charges (IGCs), is aligned with the Asset Management Plan.
Up until now, Watercare’s annual price increases have been about 3 per cent. However, the impact COVID-19 has had on the Auckland Council group’s revenue means the company is not able to borrow as much as ideal.
“This creates a funding gap, leaving us with no option but to revise our pricing path to allow us to continue providing our essential services and building critical infrastructure,” Lamonte says.
“For most Auckland households, this year’s seven per cent increase equates to about an extra $1.50 a week.”
Watercare’s price path submitted for inclusion in the Auckland Council’s Long-Term Plan proposes another increase of 7 per cent on 1 July 2022, followed by annual price increases of 9.5 per cent through to 2029, and then increases of 3.5 per cent in 2030 and 2031.
IGCs will increase by 12 per cent from 1 July 2021, followed by proposed annual increases of 8 per cent through to 2027.
Lamonte says IGCs, as well as borrowings, are used to fund growth-related infrastructure to ensure existing customers are not overly subsidising new customers or future generations.
“Giving our customers a fair deal is important to us. This is why people who build new houses, and businesses that expand their operations, pay infrastructure growth charges. The money we collect from these charges, along with what we borrow, pays for projects needed to cater to our growing city so that our existing customers are not faced with excessive water and wastewater costs.”