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Local water utilities

Regulatory and assurance framework

The improved regulatory and assurance framework for local water utilities was developed in partnership with local water utilities.

About the regulatory and assurance framework

The Regulatory and Assurance Framework is designed to make sure that local water utilities can manage risks and service needs effectively and strategically. It defines the sector’s vision and the role of local water utilities. It also sets out the Department of Planning and Environment’s regulatory objectives, its regulatory and assurance functions and associated processes.

This framework applies to local water utilities in regional NSW and started on 1 July 2022.

The framework represents a significant change to how the activities of local water utilities have been regulated and supported in the past.

The department is committed to a stronger partnership approach and culture. This will empower and enable local water utilities to address risks and strategic challenges effectively and efficiently based on locally developed plans and management systems.

Local water utility sector vision

Our vision is for safe, secure, sustainable and affordable water and sewerage services for healthy and resilient communities, businesses and the environment, now and into the future.

We are committed to continual monitoring of the department's performance as a regulator of local water utilities and continual improvement of our processes.

Since June 2021, the department has undertaken a 6-monthly survey of the local water utility sector to understand stakeholders’ views about how we regulate, support and work in partnership with local water utilities and to identify where we can improve.

Find out more about our quality assurance process

See results of the department's 6-monthly survey of the local water utility sector

See which policies are currently under review

Regulatory and assurance functions

To pursue it regulatory objective, the department has the following regulatory and assurance functions.

What the framework covers

Local water utilities are governed in NSW by the Local Government Act 1993 and the Water Management Act 2000, as well as the:

At times, other relevant legislative and regulatory instruments can be used to govern local water utilities.

The framework covers:

This framework contributes to the implementation of relevant NSW Government commitments under the National Water Initiative, National Competition Policy, and the NSW Water Strategy.

Internal quality assurance

The department uses a quality assurance framework to ensure its internal processes and capabilities are fit for purpose to operate the Regulatory and Assurance Framework.

Have your say

We continually incorporate feedback into our program and would like to hear more about what you think about the program elements. To have your say, simply email regional.town.water@dpie.nsw.gov.au