Hotter and drier-than-average weather led to reduced water availability and higher prices for tradeable water products in 2017–18, placing pressure on water users in the Murray–Darling Basin, the ACCC’s ninth annual Water Monitoring Report has found.
Despite this, the ACCC found that 2017–18 was a relatively stable year for major water infrastructure operators, with relatively minor changes in hypothetical (or average) bills for irrigators in the majority of networks.
The ACCC has determined that Murray Irrigation Limited breached the Water Charge (Infrastructure) Rules, however it has decided to resolve the matter administratively without enforcement action.
Between December 2016 and November 2018, Murray Irrigation Limited failed to publish all required information on the water charges it imposes under two agreements with non-irrigation customers, WaterNSW and the Office of Environment and Heritage.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s seventh annual Water Monitoring Report, covering 2015-16, shows the effects of structural changes in the Murray-Darling Basin rural water sector on regulated charges and terminations, transformations, and trades.
“This year’s report highlights that operators and customers are responding to change in a variety of ways,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.