Water customers will see a new statutory fee reflected on their bill, beginning February 2021. Although the statutory fee will be shown as an additional line item on the Water Authority’s water customer bill, there is no resulting increase in the bill amount, as the fee is being separated from the current base rates.
The Authority engages in the management, development and protection of water resources. Historically the Authority’s statutory functions have been funded from the Authority’s utility revenue and royalties. In 2017, when the enabling legislation to transfer the Authority’s regulatory function for the water and wastewater sector to OfReg was established, the principle of a statutory fee to fund the Authority’s statutory role was enshrined in the legislation. The Statutory Fee is being introduced through the Water Authority (Amendment) Regulations, 2021, which was gazetted on the 20 January 2021.
“The statutory functions of the Authority are critical to the protection of groundwater resources for the present and future generations” notes Water Authority Director, Dr Gelia Fredrick van-Genderen. “By separating this fee from the current base water rates, the Authority can be transparent about the portion of water rates revenue used to fund these functions. Because the entire population has access to potable water, either from the pipeline or through trucked water, it was fair and equitable to cover the Statutory costs from a fee charged on all water consumption,” she explains.
Water Authority water customers will see the statutory fee reflected in the “New Charges” and the “Consumption Details” section of their bill. The statutory fee is $0.22 per cubic metre. The statutory fee will be reflected on water customers bills only and not on sewerage and septage customers. Future adjustments to the statutory fee will be made simultaneously as base rate adjustments, using the same methodology.